School of Medicine

search box News

Archived News -- As seen would be displayed on the page

New Head of School appointed

The Faculty of Health is delighted to announce that Professor Jon Watson has been appointed as Head of the School of Medicine.

Professor Watson has been Interim Head of School since August 2013 and has already had a significant impact in that time. His previous role was Director of Clinical Studies at the Geelong Clinical School based at Geelong Hospital, where he has a continuing clinical and research role in the Gastroenterology Unit. Professor Watson brings a detailed understanding and knowledge of medical education to his new role, as well as established relationships with School of Medicine staff and students, and strong connections with the School’s partner health services and general practices.

Professor Watson trained as a physician and gastroenterologist in Oxford and Newcastle-on-Tyne in the UK. His PhD included clinical, laboratory and epidemiological research on the Hepatitis C Virus, a research interest he has maintained since that time. He migrated to Australia in 1997 and has practised as a gastroenterologist in Ballarat, Newcastle and Geelong in both public and private settings. He has been actively involved in postgraduate medical education and is a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians National Examiners Panel.

Farmer’s health under threat

A highly successful program aimed at bettering the unique challenges of remote families will close later this year if it does not receive further government funding.

The National Centre for Farmer Health was set up more than 10 years ago to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of farm families. The centre represents a partnership between Deakin University and Western District Health Service and is based in Hamilton.

The centre’s award-winning Sustainable Farm Families program has changed farmer’s lives everywhere by providing health checks and education for farmers as well as advocacy and research. Research into the effects of pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease is just one of the centre’s projects to expand the evidence base for effective interventions to improve farm and agricultural workers' health.

Both governments say they support the National Centre for Farmer Health but have given no guarantees ahead of the state and federal budgets. While the Victorian Farmers Federation supports the program, Centre director Susan Brumby said that unless it received government funding - they are seeking $1 million a year for four years- the organisation will close.

For more information about the National Centre for Farmer Health and its projects and initiatives please visit the National Centre for Farmer Health website

Med Optometry Info Evening

Medicine and Optometry Information Evening

Deakin University invites you to attend an information evening to learn more about the School of Medicine. We will discuss the degrees offered in the School including Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Vision Science / Master of Optometry and research opportunities.

Tuesday 20 May
6.00–7.30 pm
REACH Lecture Theatre DD2.101 REACH Building
Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

For more information

Website containing more information on Med Optometry Info Evening
More information about Med Optometry Info Evening(132 KB)

Novel approach for detecting coeliac disease

Deakin University researchers, as well as members of the local Geelong community, have played a key role in developing a novel approach for detecting coeliac disease.

More than 2500 men and women enrolled in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study provided blood samples for traditional antibody testing and identification of specific genetic risk markers.

‘The randomly-selected participants in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study are ideal for this project because they represent the broader population and were not selected on the basis of disease’, said lead investigator and epidemiologist, Professor Julie Pasco from Deakin University’s School of Medicine.

Coeliac disease is a digestive condition caused by eating gluten in foods made from wheat, barley, rye and oats and can be found in people of any age.

The Geelong-based research team involved endocrinologist Associate Professor Mark Kotowicz and gastroenterologist Dr Ross Knight. Other key players included Dr Jason Tye-Din from the Immunology division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Dr Bob Anderson, chief scientific officer at US biotechnology company ImmusanT and researchers from The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

Dr Tye-Din said the new approach of combining the genetic test with a panel of antibody tests would increase the accuracy of testing, decrease overall medical costs by reducing invasive diagnostic tests, and avoid medically unnecessary use of a gluten-free diet.

‘Currently, bowel biopsies are recommended for anybody with positive antibody tests’, he said.
‘In this study the inclusion of a genetic test helped identify a substantial number of people whose antibody tests were falsely positive and who did not actually require a bowel biopsy to test for the possibility of coeliac disease.’

The new testing strategy reveals that coeliac disease is more common in Australia than previously thought, affecting at least one in 60 women and one in 80 men.

The research was funded by INOVA Diagnostics Inc, Nexpep Pty. Ltd, the NHMRC, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, the Geelong Region Medical Research Foundation, and the Victorian government.

Upcoming event: Mindfulness and how it can assist people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Jeffrey Schwartz is a clinical psychiatrist who has translated classical mindfulness training into a highly successful treatment for people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Date Wednesday 23 October 2013
Time 6.30-7.30pm
Venue The Deakin Edge, Federation Square
Cost FREE * Registraion Required

Date Thursday 24 October 2013
Time 9.30am-12.30pm
Venue Room Y1.15, Deakin University's Melbourne Burwood Campus
Cost $150 external guest or $100 Deakin staff and students
register online now

More information about Upcoming event: Mindfulness and how it can assist people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(837 KB)

A new approach to bipolar depression

Do you have bipolar disorder and are looking for something
more than your usual treatment?

This exciting new study needs participants. The research will investigate the benefits of adding a combination of vitamins and other natural compounds to your
usual treatment for bipolar depression.

For more information, click on the link below or contact:

Dr Yuval Samuni
Telephone (03) 4215 3309

More information about A new approach to bipolar depression(78 KB)

Depression clinical trial seeking participants

Participants are needed for a clinical trial studying the effects of two interventions on depression levels. The researchers are comparing the effect of two interventions that may help to improve the symptoms of depression: a social support program and an educational and counseling program focusing on lifestyle.

Click on the link below for more information, or contact:

Telephone (03) 4215 3325

More information about Depression clinical trial seeking participants(79 KB)

Bipolar disorder research participants required

An exciting new study will investigate the health and lifestyle factors associated with bipolar disorder and its related illnesses.

If you are age 20 or above, a resident of Geelong and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you are encouraged to participate in this study.

The study will recruit participants over a two-year period. Participants will be required to attend an appointment of around two hours and answer questions about health, lifestyle and mental wellbeing. In addition, researchers will take clinical measurements of study participants, along with a fasting blood sample and a bone mineral density scan. All testing will be conducted free of charge with no costs incurred by participants.

This study is being conducted by Deakin University and Barwon Health.


Ms Amanda Stuart:
03) 4215 3308

Professor Michael Berk:
03) 4215 3320

More information about Bipolar disorder research participants required(78 KB)

Winners of 3MT competition 2013!

The University finals of the Three-Minute Thesis competition were held in Geelong yesterday 18 July 2013. SENS had two students competing in the Final competition.
PhD student Rebecca Lindberg was the Winner and Kim Anderson was Runner-Up. Rebecca’s thesis presentation focussed on food insecurity in Australia. Kim’s presentation was on the NDRG2 gene alleviating the loss of skeletal muscle.
Rebecca wins $2000 and will now represent Deakin University at the Trans-Tasman Three Minute Thesis competition at the University of Western Sydney in October. Kim Anderson wins $1000.

You can read about their achievements and watch their presentations at:


Website containing more information on Winners of 3MT competition 2013!

Diet and Depression

A world-first trial to test if a healthy diet can improve the mental health of people with depression is being conducted by Deakin University researchers.

"With depression predicted to become the second-most common cause of disability in the world by 2020, there is an urgent need to look at new ways of treating this illness", said Associate Professor Felice Jacka, who is leading the study.

“While there is now compelling new evidence to suggest that diet plays an important role in the risk of developing depression, there is no existing information on the impact of an improved diet on existing depressive illness. Through this study we want to answer the critically important and frequently asked question ‘If I improve my diet, will my mental health improve?’" Associate Professor Jacka said.

The research team from Deakin’s School of Medicine is now calling on people in Melbourne aged over 18 years with major depression to sign on for the trial which is funded for three years by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The trial will involve taking part in either a three month diet program or social support program. Each program comprises seven 45—60 minute sessions at the research base in Collingwood. In the near future, the trial will also commence at Barwon Health in Geelong.

This trial builds on previous research that has looked at the connection between diet and mental health, including previous studies by Associate Professor Jacka.

“I have been involved in five large-scale studies that have examined the connection between aspects of diet and mental health. The results of these studies have linked a healthy diet with a reduced likelihood of having depression,” she said.

“It is now time to test whether improving someone’s diet makes them feel better if they are already depressed.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the trial can call 03 8415 0944 or email

2012 Medical School Oration

The 2012 Medical School Oration will be held on Thursday the 1st of November at the Geelong Clinical School Lecture theatre, Ryrie Street, Geelong.

Professor Richard Murray, Head of School/Dean School of Medicine at James Cook University, will be speaking. The topic is “Generalism, regionalisation and why rural has important answers for Australia’s health care future.”

Professor Richard Murray is the Dean of Medicine and Head of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University. His career focus has been in rural medicine, Aboriginal health, public policy and tropical medicine.

The event will be held at 6pm for refreshments and 6:30pm for the Oration.

Entry is Free.

RSVP online

Gordon Ada Career Development Award

Dr John Stambas, Head of the AAHL CSIRO Deakin Collaborative laboratory, and the School of Medicine Honours Program Coordinator, was awarded the Gordon Ada Career Development Award from Australia's peak Immunology society, the Australasian Society for Immunology (ASI). The prize includes a medal and $4000 to be used to attend the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Immunologists in Hawaii in May 2013.
To read more about Dr Stambas' research, click here.

Website containing more information on Gordon Ada Career Development Award

2012 Australian Society of Microbiology Frank Fenner Award

Professor Johnson Mak, Chair of Infectious Diseases in the Deakin Medical School, recently won the 2012 Australian Society of Microbiology Frank Fenner Award, in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the field of microbiology as a scientist in the formative stage of his career. Professor Mak presented his oration on the process of how HIV viruses diversify and evolve on Tuesday 3 July at the Australian Society of Microbiology meeting in Brisbane.

Website containing more information on 2012 Australian Society of Microbiology Frank Fenner Award

National Health Fusion Team Challenge

Looking for a relevant and innovative experience prior to graduation?

The National Health Fusion Team challenge will give you the chance to develop your skills in collaborative healthcare practice, represent your University in a prestigious national event and defend Deakin University’s title of National Champions.

The National Health Fusion Team Challenge is a prestigious national extracurricular competition held in Brisbane, Queensland, each year with teams of health students participating from universities across Australia and New Zealand for the national title. It provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in teamwork and collaborative practice as they work with colleagues from across the Faculty to develop a management plan for a client with complex health needs. Teams then present their management plans to a live audience and panel of expert judges on competition day.

Deakin University won the National Competition in 2011, which was a terrific achievement given it was the first year we entered a team in the event. We are now looking for a new interprofessional team of enthusiastic, collaborative, committed, team-orientated students to defend the title in 2012!

Who can take part?
Students in the latter part of their degrees from the following disciplines are invited to apply: medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, social work, clinical exercise physiology, and dietetics. A team of six students will be selected to represent Deakin University in this event.

When will the National Health Fusion Team Challenge take place?
The event this year will be held on Friday 31 August 2012, in Brisbane. The Faculty of Health will cover the cost of your flights, accommodation and transfers.

How will the event be run?
On the day of the event, each team will present their management plan in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges. At the completion of all presentations teams will be asked to respond to a series of questions or exercises designed to test their teamwork skills under pressure. During this process the judging panel may question teams about the case or the teamwork processes they used. The team that performs the best over the course of the day is then awarded first place.

How to apply
Applications are now open.

To apply, please email an expression of interest to the Faculty’s Interprofessional Education Coordinator, Catherine Ward, on, stating in 100 words or less, ‘Why I should represent my profession in the National Health Fusion Team Challenge’.

Applications close on Friday 25 May 2012.

More information
For more information please visit the web page below or contact Catherine Ward on or 5227 8437.

Website containing more information on National Health Fusion Team Challenge

National Centre for Farmer Health 2012 conference

That National Centre for Farmer Health’s (NCFH) biennial conference 'Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health' will be held from 17 to 19 September 2012 at the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre, in Hamilton, Victoria.

The conference’s overarching theme ‘Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health’ was chosen to build on the success of the inaugural conference ‘Opening the Gates on Farmer Health’, held last year. This year’s conference will continue to educate and engage health and agri- professionals to raise awareness and develop strategies to improve farmer health, wellbeing and safety.

Conference themes include:
Mental health – wagging the black dog’s tail
Chronic disease and healthy lifestyles – feast or famine
Agricultural hazards and safety – reducing harm on the farm
Agriculture in a changing climate – it’s not always fair weather farming
The business of farming – being productive in a digital landscape
Human and animal health – all creatures great and small
Ageing in place on farm – duty of care versus dignity of risk
Lucky dip – tell us your speciality!

The roll-call of world-class speakers signed up for the conference is providing an exciting foundation for this key event on the agri-health calendar.

NCFH Director Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby said the multi-faceted roles of speakers lined up for the conference ensure participants will be given a detailed grounding in service delivery to the agricultural community. Speakers include Associate Professor John Edwards, a toxicologist with broad interests in the effects of occupational and environmental chemical exposures in human health; Dr Anthony Hogan, Director of the National Institute for Rural and Regional Australia; Cathy McGowan AO, rural consultant, farmer and academic; and Dr Lisa Schiller, Assistant Professor / Nurse Practitioner at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences in the US.

The focus of the conference is to equip people dealing with the health and wellbeing of farmers, their families and their employees with the skills, and even the confidence, to function in parts of the country that do not have the support and services of metropolitan Australia.

Clinical Associate Professor Brumby says she is delighted with the quality of people who have submitted abstracts for the conference, describing it as a ‘demonstration’ of the reputation the NCFH has built for itself, and the value world authorities place on the opportunity to get involved in delivering the latest research and progress in farm health.

For more information about the Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health conference, visit the National Centre for Farmer Health website at the link below

Website containing more information on National Centre for Farmer Health 2012 conference

Deakin University wins the 2011 National Health Fusion Team Challenge

On Friday 26 August an interprofessional team of Deakin students won the National Health Fusion Team Challenge, hosted by the University of Queensland in Brisbane. 2011 is the first time Deakin has entered a team in this national event, and the Faculty of Health and the broader University are thrilled with the success our students have had.

The Health Fusion Team Challenge (HFTC) is a national extracurricular competition between mixed Interprofessional teams of health students nearing the end of their studies. The event provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in teamwork and collaboration as they develop a management plan for a client with complex health needs. The highlight of each HFTC is the public competition where student teams come together to present their management plans to a live audience and panel of expert judges.

The 2011 event saw Deakin compete with teams from Flinders University, Griffith University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney.

Deakin’s winning team was made up of students from across the Faculty of Health: Marguerite Conley (Master of Dietetics), Emily Dalton (Bachelor of Nursing), Paul Dodemaide (Bachelor of Social Work), Radhika Sheorey (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery), Penelope Watts (Master of Psychology (Clinical)), Vivian Winkler (Bachelor of occupational Therapy).

The students were tasked with compiling and presenting a management plan for a 23 year old man with an acquired brain injury caused by a motor vehicle accident the man had after he had been drinking. Ten months after the accident the man was left with memory loss, epilepsy and reduced motor control, which was leading to falls. He also had increased emotional outbursts, frustration, and lived in a very complex family situation.

The students had a four-week preparation period, during which they met on eLive and in person, and did their own research to come up with a management package for the patient. Health practitioners in the community and several Deakin staff acted as mentors during this period.

On the day of the National Health Fusion Team Challenge, after participating in a series of heats throughout the day, each team presented their management plan in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges. At the completion of all presentations each team was asked to respond to a series of timed extension questions or exercises designed to test their teamwork skills under pressure. During this process they were questioned by the judging panel about the case and the teamwork processes they used.

The students’ presentation was extremely professional, well researched and thorough. They were fantastic ambassadors for Deakin University not only in the final event, but also through the course of the entire day. They put in a great deal of preparation before the event and approached it with a high level of enthusiasm, and this was evident in their teamwork skills and the quality of their presentation.

Congratulations also to Mrs Catherine Ward, Lecturer in Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare, School of Psychology. Catherine has coordinated Deakin’s efforts in the Health Fusion Team Challenge.

Left to right in the picture below: Paul Dodemaide, Margie Conley, Vivian Winkler, Penny Watts, Radhika Sheorey and Emily Dalton

More information about Deakin University wins the 2011 National Health Fusion Team ChallengeError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/deakin-university-wins-the-2011-national-health-fusion-team-challenge2.jpg

Medical School Graduation

On Thursday 15 December the first cohort of Deakin Medical School students graduated with their Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery degrees at Costa Hall on Deakin’s Geelong Waterfront campus.

This was a momentous occasion for 109 students who completed their medical degrees at Victoria’s first rural and regional medical school.

The ceremony was attended by more than 500 family, friends, staff, and clinicians from across the state who contributed to the development of the Deakin medical curriculum and taught the students.

While every graduating student deserves great praise and recognition for their achievements, the outstanding successes of several students were recognised by awards for academic excellence, including
an award for the graduating student with the highest aggregate mark:
• Waltraud Maria Almhofer – E H Embley/Australian Medical Association Prize for Anaesthetics; the Geelong Intensive Care Unit Prize for the Ethics, Law and Professional Development Theme; and the Australian Medical Association Prize as the graduating student with the highest aggregate mark.

• Grant Crawford – Mental Health Prize
• Daniel Christidis – Women’s Health Prize
• Andrew Hely – Royal Australian College of Surgeons Prize for Surgery
• Hugo Lawrie – Geelong Medical and Hospital Benefits Association General Practice Prize
• Laura Elizabeth Maddy – Medicine Prize, and the Royal Children’s Hospital Prize for
Children’s Health
• Skye Maria Siskos – The Emergency Medicine Prize

Professor Wei Duan - Researcher of the Year

Convener of the Deakin Medical School’s Nanomedicine Program, Professor Wei Duan has again taken out the Smart Geelong Network’s Researcher of the Year Award, having won the Biotechnology Award in 2008.

He was additionally recognised with the Smart Technology Award for his project developing cancer stem-targeting molecular missiles for smart cancer medicines. ‘I feel very proud to receive
this recognition and it couldn’t have been possible without the contribution of the whole project team’, Professor Duan said.

In a significant achievement this year, the team has created the world’s first cancer stem celltargeting chemical missile, placing them a step closer to creating a medical ‘smart bomb’ that would seek out and eradicate the root of cancer cells.

The project is a collaborative effort between Deakin University’s School of Medicine and Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Institute of Life Science, Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre and Chemgenex Pharmaceuticals. It has received a total of $700 000 funding from the federal government’s Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

Professor Duan currently holds three national competitive grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Sports physiology testing for a good cause

The School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is providing sports physiology testing and training advice to a special group of senior executives who are on a mission to raise money for a good cause. Chain Reaction is a corporate bike challenge that raises money for sick children by challenging senior executives who have a passion for cycling to ride a 1100 km course in seven days. Since it began in 2007 Chain Reaction has raised over $4.4 million on behalf of its charity partners.

A total of 30 Victorian riders who will take part in the challenge in March 2012 have signed up to participate in sports science assessments offered by Deakin through its partnership with major Chain Reaction charity partner Eastern Health Foundation.

The weekend of 26-27 November saw the first round of rider testing, with individual assessments of key physiological variables such as VO2max, anaerobic threshold, maximum heart rate, peak power and efficiency, and body composition. Lead by Dr Paul Gastin of the Centre for Exercise and Sports Sciences, the assessments provide riders with information on their current physical health status and performance capabilities, and arm them with the information to increase the impact of their training, aid recovery and improve performance.

Dr Gastin commented, ’Sport performance testing is not readily available to the general public, so the riders were eager to participate in individual assessments, reserved only for those at the elite level of sport. The riders showed great determination to push themselves to their performance limits and will no doubt improve over the coming months as they increase their training.’

The School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences sees their support of Chain Reaction as an important community and charitable contribution as well as an opportunity to strengthen its partnership with Eastern Health.

Website containing more information on Sports physiology testing for a good cause

Faculty of Health global citizens!

Congratulations to a number of students from across the Faculty of Health who were among a select group of students who were recently awarded the 2011 Deakin University Global Citizenship Award. Deakin held its first Global Chitizenship Award ceremony on Thursday 13 October at the Deakin University Melbourne City Campus. Vice Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander; Executive Director Deakin International Mr Rongyu Li and other distinguished guests joined Deakin students and their family and friends to acknowledge and celebrate the significant achievements of the award winners.

Congratulations to the following students from the Faculty of Health who received 2011 Global Citizenship Awards:
Amy Beveridge
Maree Bouterakos
Sharyl Brockett
Luka Campbell
Tegan Cant
Rebecca Court
Claire Henty
Courtney Moule

Deakin’s Global Citizenship Program is aimed at supplementing students’ studies by recognising international activities such as international study experiences, participation in internationally-focused units, seminars on international topics, international internships, international-centred volunteering along with personal reflection and growth.

Global Citizenship Award winners must have achieved at least 100 points of international experience. Each international activity is weighted based on length of time and commitment by the student. A number of the 2011 award-holders have significant international experience, including volunteering in the developing world, significant other domestic/ international internships and semester-long study abroad. These students are leaders within Deakin University and should be commended for their achievements.

Follow the link below for more information about the Global Citizenship Program.

Website containing more information on Faculty of Health global citizens!

NHMRC fellowships for 2012

A number of staff in the Faculty of Health have been successful in securing highly sought-after National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) fellowships for 2012.

Congratulations to the following recipients:

Early Career Fellowships

Ms Cathy Mihalopoulos – Population Health Strategic Research Centre
Priority-setting in Australian mental health services: improving the economic evidence base and its relevance to decision-makers.

Dr Lisa Gold – Population Health Strategic Research Centre
Priority-setting in child population health: increasing the effectiveness of population health resources to improve health and quality of life of Australia’s children.

Career Development Fellowships

Dr Sean McGee – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health / Centre for Molecular and Medical Research
Targeting the class IIa histone deacetylases in metabolic disease.

Professor Jo Salmon, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health / Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research
Innovative methods for assessing and intervening on children’s sedentary behaviour and health.

Research Fellowship

Professor Jo Salmon – School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health / Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research
Innovative methods for assessing and intervening on children’s sedentary behaviour and health.

Deakin wins 12 NHMRC Project Grants!

Deakin University and the Faculty of Health have had great success in winning a number of highly sought-after and prestigious grants and awards from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Deakin’s success in the 2012 round of grants is a terrific improvement on our success in 2011. Our project grants have increased from an 8% success rate in 2011 to a 29% success rate in 2012, with a 433% increase in funding. We are also celebrating a 100% success rate in Research Fellowships, and a 40% success rate in both Early Career Fellowships and Career Development Fellowships.

Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Lee Astheimer, said, ‘This is superb news! I wish to congratulate the researchers and also the staff at Deakin Research involved in supporting these applications’.

The Faculty of Health’s School of Medicine, and associated research groups, won 11 of the 12 NHMRC Project Grants awarded to Deakin:
Professor Michael Berk – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, four projects.

Associate Professor Sue Brumby – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health / National Centre for Farmer Health.

Dr Tania de Koning-Ward – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health / Centre for Molecular and Medical Research.

Dr Felice Jacka – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health.

Professor Johnson Mak – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health / Centre for Molecular and Medical Research, two projects.

Dr Sean McGee – School of Medicine, Faculty of Health / Centre for Molecular and Medical Research, two projects.

Click on the link below for more information about individual grants and projects.

Website containing more information on Deakin wins 12 NHMRC Project Grants!

CELC promotes healthy living

Deakin University has a Clinical Exercise Learning Centre (CELC). The Learning Centre specialises in providing exercise services for people living with, or at risk of, chronic medical disease, injuries or disabilities. The services are provided by Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP), with the assistance of postgraduate students enrolled in the Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology (H743).
AEPs deliver exercise, lifestyle and behavioural modification programs for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression disorders, cancer, arthritis, respiratory disease and many others. AEPs are able to provide clinical exercise services under Medicare Australia, WorkSafe Victoria, TAC, Comcare, DVA and private health insurance schemes.
CELC offers these services to staff, students and the general public. The most common form of referral to CELC services is via a general practitioner (GP), but CELC also accepts other forms of referral, including self-referral. For referred services, the client is bulk-billed (no out-of-pocket expenses) and for self-referred or extended services beyond the life of the referral, the fees are modest.
What do Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP) do for their clients?
AEPs help their clients to improve
• function, fitness and energy levels
• clinical status: preventing or retarding the progression or impact of disease, preventing relapse or providing rehabilitation
• quality of life

CELC believes that better outcomes can be achieved by educating and motivating clients to participate in exercise and in the planning of their lifestyle programs, and by enabling them to connect exercise with healthy lifestyle.
More information on Clinical Exercise Learning Centre and AEP Scope of Practice.

Student success at AIFST 2011 awards

AIFST applauds student success in Food, Science & Technology

Some of the country's top food science students were recognised at the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology Incorporated (AIFST) Convention, with winners of the Student Product Development Competition and the Malcolm Bird Award being announced.

Student Product Development Competition
The AIFST Student Product Development competition, sponsored by National Starch, was won by Jessica Florence and Afrizal from Deakin University in Victoria with their cheekily titled 'So Chicky' soy-chickpea based crackers. Incorporating chia and poppy seeds, these crackers offer delicious snacking, and claim to be healthier than the majority of wheat based crackers on the market. They are also low in saturated fat at 0.4g per serve.

In response to taste tests, additional chickpea was added during the development phase, providing a unique nutty flavour which increased the consumer acceptance, with 75 percent 'really liking' the product.

A High Commendation for student product development went to Jessica Tanner, Nelson Cheung and Amy Appleton from the University of Western Sydney, who produced The AscendLite Mediterranean Savoury Muffin Bar, a snack designed for people suffering from hypercholesterolemia. The team's primary aim was to develop a delicious snack product that was low in fat, and high in fibre.

The market survey and sensory evaluation confirmed that consumers enjoyed the Mediterranean flavour, combining tomato, basil and parmesan, and also approved of its taste and texture. In addition, shelf life tests concluded the product needed to be sold as a fresh-bake item.

Each year the Student Product Development competition is open to undergraduate student members and is intended to promote professionalism and innovative thinking, while showcasing students’ originality, talent and team skills.

Finalists share in a cash prize and a fully funded trip to the AIFST Convention for a representative of each team, courtesy of National Starch.

During the convention the two product innovations were personally presented to food science and technology industry professionals.

Malcolm Bird Young Members Award Winner
Impressing the judges with her study and presentation on 'Fat Sensitivity: influencers on ingestive behaviour and body weight in humans' was Jessica Stewart from Deakin University.

Jessica has won the prestigious The Malcolm Bird Award which acknowledges young members who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership and integrity in their profession

For further information about the AIFST, the Malcolm Bird Award and the Student Product Development Competition, visit the AIFST website

A healthy diet equals a healthy mind

Deakin University health researchers have found that people with healthy diets are less likely to have depression and anxiety – not only in Australia but around the world.

In a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine researchers from Deakin University and the University of Bergen analysed data collected from over 5700 middle-aged and older adults from western Norway.

'We found that the higher the dietary quality of these men and women, the less likely they were to be depressed', said Dr Jacka from Deakin University’s Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit based at Barwon Health.

'Increased dietary quality was also associated with less anxiety in women, while those people eating more junk and processed foods were more likely to be anxious. Even after taking into account other demographic and lifestyle factors, these findings persisted.'

Dr Jacka said that similar associations have been shown in Australian women, but not before in Norwegians.

'We are starting to see a very consistent pattern here', she said.

'We have now assessed dietary quality in a number of different ways, in different countries, with different measures of mental health. In each of these studies, the results look very similar. This lends weight to the contention that diet plays a role in depression and anxiety.'

The researchers observed that despite the high disease burden of depression and anxiety, psychiatry lacks an evidence-based message to help people reduce their risk for mental illness.

However, Dr Jacka said this information may contribute to reducing the burden of illness in the community and improve outcomes for people suffering from these illnesses.

'It is important to recognise that the same healthy diets that help reduce risk for heart and other medical diseases may reduce the risk for depression and anxiety', Dr Jacka said.

For the current study, participants filled in detailed questionnaires regarding their normal diets, as well as completing additional questionnaires regarding their mood symptoms. Diet quality was assessed by determining how much and often the participants ate foods such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrain foods, low fat dairy, fish and non-processed red meats.

Other factors which may be associated with both diet quality and depression, such as income and education, as well as physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption, were also taken into account.

School of Medicine Research Day 8 July 2011

Deakin Medical School is holding a 'Research Day' on Friday 8 July 2011 at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

The Research Day will showcase Deakin Medical School’s research in the following areas:

• cancer
• infectious diseases
• rural and regional health
• metabolic disease
• psychiatry and neuroscience
• bone disease.

Speakers will include researchers working at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, as well as clinical researchers from key partners, including Barwon Health, CSIRO(AAHL), Kardinia Health GP Super Clinic, the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) and the Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine (CREM).

RSVPs are essential. Please register online at

Website containing more information on School of Medicine Research Day 8 July 2011

Deakin Medical School 2011 Oration

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AO will deliver the 2011 School of Medicine Oration 'E-Health and its Impact on Medical Practice' at the Geelong Clinical School Lecture Theatre on Thursday 5 May, commencing at 6 for 6.30 pm.

Please follow the link below to register.

Website containing more information on Deakin Medical School 2011 Oration

Medicine information evenings

Deakin University’s School of Medicine invites you to attend a medicine information evening to learn more about the graduate-entry, four-year Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery.

We are holding information evenings at the following locations:

Melbourne Burwood Campus
Tuesday 17 May
6 pm
Lecture Theatre 13
Building hc2.005

Ballarat Base Hospital
Wednesday 18 May
6 pm
Ballarat Clinical School
Ground Floor, Ballarat Base Hospital
Drummond Street

Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Thursday 19 May
6 pm
Peter Thwaite Lecture Theatre
Building ia1.006

For more information
Health – Student and Academic Services
03 9251 7777

World's first chemical guided missile could be the answer to wiping out cancer

Deakin University medical scientists in Geelong have developed an RNA aptamer, also known as a chemical antibody, which targets cancer cells and could revolutionise treatments for patients in the future. This work was published recently in an international cancer research journal, Cancer Science.

Deakin Medical School’s Professor Wei Duan said the development of the new cancer stem cell-targeting aptamer was a world-first because it helped directly deliver drugs to the 'roots of cancer'.

'Cancer is such a devastating disease because current treatments destroy the majority of the cells', Professor Duan said. 'But it is like a tree, you can chop off as many leaves as you like but if you don’t destroy the root it will grow back. The newly developed chemical missile targets the roots of cancer and could ultimately lead to better cancer survival rates and greatly improved quality of life for patients.'

The minute chemical bomb, which was a joint project between Deakin University researchers and Indian scientists, acts like a guided missile, targeting the tumour, binding to the root of the cancer and releasing drugs to attack it. The technology could also help identify cancer earlier because of the tiny size of the weapon.

But the new treatment could take quite a few years before it reaches the oncology clinic, according to Professor Duan. 'It is a long process', he said. 'If everything works well it generally takes 10 years.'

Associate Professor Judy Currey – Teacher of the Year

At the 2010 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards Associate Professor Judy Currey of the School of Nursing and Midwifery was named Deakin University ‘Teacher of the Year’.

Associate Professor Currey received three prestigious awards acknowledging her outstanding contribution to teaching and learning and Deakin University:
• 2010 Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence
• 2010 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching
• 2010 WJC Banks Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning and Deakin University Teacher of the Year

Associate Professor Currey coordinates the postgraduate suite of critical care courses within the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She leads the critical care program in partnership with 24 Victorian and NSW health agencies. Associate Professor Currey has worked tirelessly in the development and implementation of these courses and her vision, enthusiasm, collegiality and expertise have led to the rapid growth of the courses (doubled enrolments in 2010), the highest course student evaluation scores in the University, and the introduction of the highly successful Team-Based Learning Program (TBL).

As the Senior Research Fellow in The Alfred / Deakin Nursing Research Centre, Associate Profesor Currey’s research is focused on nurses’ decision-making and managing clinical risk to optimise patient outcomes. Her teaching and learning scholarly work is focused on workforce development in terms of researching educational strategies to improve graduates’ skills, knowledge and attributes as critical care nurses.

Associate Professor Currey is Chair of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses’ Research Advisory Panel, Chair of the International Society of Heart Lung Transplantation Research Council, and an editorial board member of Australian Critical Care and Progress in Transplantation.

The Faculty congratulates Associate Professor Currey on these outstanding achievements.

Dr Tania de Koning-Ward named among the nation’s top 10 best and brightest researchers

The School of Medicine’s Dr Tania de Koning-Ward has been named among Australia’s top 10 best and brightest researchers by the National Health and Medical Research Council, receiving an Excellence Award on Wednesday 15 December in Canberra.

Recognition in the NHMRC Excellence Awards places Dr de Koning-Ward in the top 10 of the nearly 5000 researchers who applied for NHMRC funding in 2010.

Professor Warwick Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of the NHMRC said, ‘As the highest ranking applicants in their funding schemes, the 10 researchers have been assessed by their peers as meeting the highest national and international standards for their research’.

Dr de Koning-Ward was recognised for her research aimed at eradicating malaria. A recent discovery by Dr de Koning-Ward and her colleagues identified how the malaria parasite remodels its host red blood cell to enhance its survival and cause the deadly disease.

‘I am truly honoured to receive this award from the NHMRC. It means that I will be able to focus full time on identifying ways to block the pathway the parasite uses to cause malaria. This is an exciting phase in the research as it could lead to new drugs to combat this devastating disease’, she said.

Dr de Koning-Ward said winning the award was also proof that it is possible to balance a research career with raising a family.

‘For six years I gave up full-time research to raise my two children’, Dr de Koning- Ward explained. ‘Being a recipient of this award shows other researchers that if you have a great support network behind you like I did, both at home and work, it is possible to have a fulfilling research career
and raise a family’.

Head of the School of Medicine, Professor Brendan Crotty said the award is a great endorsement of the School’s expanding research profile.

‘I am delighted and very proud that one of our medical scientists has been recognised as one of the top researchers in the country’, Professor Crotty said.

‘In a few short years the School has established a reputation for research excellence that has been underpinned by the success of our researchers in attracting research grants and awards such as this one’.

National Centre for Farmer Health shares expertise with dairy colleagues

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) was recently invited to attend a Dairy Research Symposium held by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. The symposium ‘A healthy obsession – looking at the fitness of our cows, farms and farmers’, was held in Camden, New South Wales and was attended by Australian dairy farmers, veterinarians and researchers.

The NCFH attended the event to raise the profile of personal health and wellbeing and its impact on individuals and the wider dairy industry. On the first day of the symposium, the NCFH team highlighted the health of farm men and women in Australia, which stimulated a flurry of delegates arriving early the following morning for a health check. Delegates were provided with individual feedback on body mass index (BMI), eyesight, blood pressure, fasting glucose, cholesterol levels and stress levels, as well as the latest research on the health of the agricultural workforce in Australia.

‘It seems our message that a healthy farmer is required to run a healthy and profitable farm is beginning to sink in’, said Deakin lecturer Dr Scott McCoombe after almost half of the conference delegates opted to fast overnight, get up early and take the opportunity to find out a little more about their own health status. ‘We were very encouraged by the participants taking onboard our message and showing the initiative to monitor and improve their own health’ he added.

The NCFH team collated the results of the health check and reported them as the final presentation of the symposium. National Centre for Farmer Health Director, Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby said ‘The results definitely raised some eyebrows, with over 60 per cent of those tested classified as overweight and nearly 30 per cent as obese according to their BMI measurements’. Additionally, psychological distress measured using the self reported Kessler K10 survey showed that 51 per cent of the tested delegates reported moderate to high levels of distress. ‘Importantly the key message of the symposium – a ‘healthy obsession’ – was reinforced as applying equally to humans, cows and pastures’, she added.

New funding for medical facilities in Geelong

On Wednesday 13 October, Deakin University welcomed the announcement of $5 million federal government funding for new Epworth HealthCare / Deakin medical and research facilities in Geelong.

The announcement by Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, is a much welcomed investment in the growing medical training and research programs in Geelong.

Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jan den Hollander said, ‘Our vision at Deakin is to build a world-class health precinct at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds that will open up health and economic benefits for regional Victoria. [This] funding announcement is a very positive step in realising this vision’.

Deakin has already taken significant steps towards achieving this goal, with the upcoming addition of the REACH (Deakin Regional Community Health Hub) building on the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds. REACH is a $47 million cutting-edge teaching and research facility that will be built next to Deakin’s School of Medicine.

Both these new facilities represent an exciting development for Deakin and the Geelong region and will enable Deakin to expand our health and medical-related courses and research.

School of Medicine research may hold the key to eradicating cancer

Research being undertaken in Deakin’s School of Medicine could hold the key to eradicating cancer cells. The Deakin researchers, in collaboration with scientists in India and Australia, are developing a medical ‘smart bomb’ designed to seek out and eradicate the root of cancer cells. The cancer smart bomb being developed by the team would target and kill cancer-initiating cells and be more effective and cause fewer side-effects than current treatments.

Associate Professor Wei Duan, of the Deakin School of Medicine, who leads the research said ‘Our aim is to develop a safe and novel drug delivery system that hits the cancer at its core, and kills the cells responsible for the resistance to current therapies and the recurrence of the disease’.

‘The success of this project will bring us a step forward in significantly improving the survival rate and quality of life of cancer patients. Our precision-guided cancer therapy will afford reduced side-effects, decreased toxicity to normal cells and increased treatment effectiveness. It also has potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease and diabetes.’

The project represents a collaboration between Deakin University’s School of Medicine and Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, along with Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre and ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals.

The federal government’s Australia-India Strategic Research Fund has provided $400 000 in funding over three years, with reciprocal support from the Indian Government.

‘Cancer cells are particularly difficult to kill as they contain so-called cancer stem cells, the root or seed cancer cells that are resistant to drugs’, Associate Professor Duan explained. ‘While current treatments kill the bulk of the cancer cell, the cancer root is not obliterated and can regenerate into a new cancer mass. The aim of our research is to develop a ‘smart bomb’ that can penetrate the cell and release the drugs within the cells, rather than from the outside, and kill the whole tumour, root and all.’

Website containing more information on School of Medicine research may hold the key to eradicating cancer

Deakin University WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention and the CO-OPS Collaboration 'Obesity Prevention Short Course'

The next Deakin University Obesity Prevention short course, hosted by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity prevention and the CO-OPS Collaboration of Community based Obesity Prevention sites will conduct their five day course from 28 June to 2 July 2010 at Deakin University Geelong Waterfront Campus.

More information about Deakin University WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention and the CO-OPS Collaboration 'Obesity Prevention Short Course'Error: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/deakin-university-who-collaborating-centre-for-obesity-prevention-and-the-co-ops-collaboration-obesity-prevention-short-course.pdf

Medical Research Week 4-11 June

Medical Research Week will be conducted from 4-11 June 2010. A Student Research Symposium designed for all Victorian medical research students will be conducted on Thursday 10 June. Three tertiary careers information evenings will also be conducted; Tuesday 11 May, Wednesday 19 May and Wednesday 26 May.

Website containing more information on Medical Research Week 4-11 June
More information about Medical Research Week 4-11 JuneError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/medical-research-week-4-11-june.doc

Deakin Medical School Oration

Deakin Medical School will hold its 2010 Oration on Monday 12 April at its newly opened Geelong Clinical School, Geelong Hospital.

The Oration Evidence for Straw Breaking a Camel’s Back: Climate Change Effects upon Chronic Disease will be delivered by Dr Aaron Bernstein (MD, MPH), from the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment. Dr Bernstein’s work examines the human health dimensions of global environmental change.

Tours of the new Geelong Clinical School, Geelong Hospital, will be offered from 6–7 pm.

Details of the event
Monday 12 April
Lecture Theatre, Geelong Clinical School, Geelong Hospital
(enter via Ryrie St through Kitchener House)
6 pm refreshments and clinical school tours
7 pm Oration

See attached flyer for more information.

More information about Deakin Medical School OrationError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/deakin-medical-school-oration.pdf

Deakin medical students begin clinical training

Deakin University’s first cohort of third-year medical students have begun their clinical training in clinical schools in Geelong and Warrnambool. The students have completed the first two years of the Deakin Medical School’s Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, and will spend the final two years of their course on clinical placements.

Sixty students have begun full-time clinical placements at Barwon Health in Geelong, where a dedicated training facility at the Geelong Hospital is nearing completion. A further 13 students have commenced placements at the Greater Green Triangle Clinical School in Warrnambool, with this number anticipated to increase to 40 in 2011. The Greater Green Triangle Clinical School will initially be based at South West TAFE until completion of a $3.6 million facility that is part of the South West Healthcare redevelopment.

The students will rotate through a range of medical specialities, from general medicine and surgery to women’s health, children’s health and mental health. They will take advantage of purpose-built facilities including clinical skills laboratories, a range of simulation equipment, computerised mannequins and other sophisticated technology designed to support students in their clinical placements and assist in the recognition and management of complex and critical health problems.

Deakin medical students spend the first two years of the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery in the new, purpose-built School of Medicine at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds. The remaining two years of the course are spent in a range of hospitals, general practices and health care facilities attached to Deakin's clinical schools in Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Box Hill and across Western Victoria.

As Victoria’s first rural and regional medical school, the Deakin Medical School aims to train new doctors who are motivated to pursue careers in rural and regional areas, which will help alleviate the critical shortage of doctors in these regions.

Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education available to Aboriginal health workers

Deakin University’s Institute of Koorie Education and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, with support from Diabetes Australia – Vic and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), are thrilled to offer the Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education to Aboriginal health workers.

This initiative supports the Commonwealth Government’s pledge to ‘close the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes and its commitment to ‘encourage more Indigenous people to take up careers as health professionals’.

Diabetes education is of vital importance to improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. To achieve this goal, it is critical that a strong Indigenous health workforce is developed in order to improve Indigenous health services and health outcomes in the long term.

Diabetes is prevalent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and it is crucial that Aboriginal health workers are provided with the skills and expertise to advise their clients on best practice in diabetes management and prevention strategies.

Rural Allied Health Scholarship Scheme

The Rural Allied Health Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme is open to individuals with a rural background studying various allied health disciplines. The scholarship provides $10,000 per annum to assist students with accommodation, living and travel expenses for the duration of their studies.

Applications for the 2010 academic year opened on 22nd September 2009 and close on 2nd November 2009.

More information about Rural Allied Health Scholarship SchemeError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/rural-allied-health-scholarship-scheme.pdf

Scholarships for Children of Veterans intending Tertiary Studies in 2010

In 2010 the Australian Veterans' Children Assistance Trust will be providing financial assistance for up to 65 students under many different scholarship schemes. All schemes help the selected children in need of the Australian veteran community with the costs of tertiary education. Applications close on 31 October 2009.

More information about Scholarships for Children of Veterans intending Tertiary Studies in 2010Error: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/scholarships-for-children-of-veterans-intending-tertiary-studies-in-2010.doc

Virtual Maternity Clinic for Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery students

Nursing students in the Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery are learning about caring for women during early pregnancy using the ‘Virtual Maternity Clinic’ (VMC). The VMC is a virtual learning environment developed to complement traditional teaching methods and clinical placements. The VMC uses Deakin Studies Online as a platform and includes video clips, avatars and interactive learning activities related to the health assessment of four women during early pregnancy.
The site aims to better prepare students in the art and science of providing evidence informed pregnancy care and increase their engagement in professional practice during their clinical placements.
The project members include Dr Diane Phillips, Professor Maxine Duke, Dr Cate Nagle, Ms Annie Hepner, Mr David O’Brien (Knowledge Media Division) and Ms Denise Patterson (Eastern Health). Other members of Knowledge Media Division involved in the development of the project include Mr Glenn McNolty, Mr Peter Lane and Mr Ian Fox.

RIRDC funding for NCFH

Rural Industries Research Development Corporation funding

The National Centre for Farmer Health has been successful in gaining funding to undertake a review of the original Sustainable Farm Families (SFF) participants that commenced in 2003. These farm men and women are located in four states and come from a variety of differing farming industries, from grazing to sugar cane production and will commence in 2009–10 for completion in 2011. The Sustainable Farm Families - Future Directions project will focus on assessing the health (physical and mental) and safety status of the original 192 participants to further extend the understanding and efficacy of the SFF program 6 years post commencement. The partners include National Centre for Farmer Health, Western District Health Service, Farm Management 500, La Trobe University Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities and the Cotton and Sugar Research Development Corporations. The total funding is $189,910.

Further information: Please contact Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby, Director National Centre for Farmer Health.

Website containing more information on RIRDC funding for NCFH

An Achilles heel in malaria offers new therapy hope

Website containing more information on An Achilles heel in malaria offers new therapy hope

National Centre for Farmer Health

A National Centre for Farmer Health is to be established in Hamilton, Victoria, in a partnership between the Faculty and the Western District Health Service. The Premier has just announced $2.4 million in funding from the Victorian
Government after the Helen and Geoff Handbury Trust donated $1 million towards the Centre. The Centre will be co-located with the nationally acclaimed Sustainable Farm Families initiative ( and the Hamilton Hospital branch of the Deakin Medical School which will be educating medical students and doctors in training. Through this nexus there will be a critical mass of researchers, educators, clinicians and other health workers who will be able to build national and international expertise in
agricultural health.

Deakin Medicine information evenings

Deakin Medicine information evenings

Deakin University is hosting information sessions for students wishing to gain more information about entry into the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery - a 4 year graduate entry program.

All applicants for the Deakin Medicine program are required to sit the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) as a prerequisite to admission.

The next and only GAMSAT will be held on Saturday 15 March 2008.

To register for the GAMSAT test you must apply before Monday 25 January 2008 for more information on GAMSAT -

2007 information evenings

Geelong campus at Waurn Ponds
Waurn Ponds
Tuesday 11 December 2007
5.30 - 6.30pm
Building ib level 3 room number 232 (ib3.232)

Monday 17 December 2007
5.30 - 6.30pm
Ballarat University - Mt Helen Campus
Room F301, Building F

Melbourne Campus at Burwood
221 Burwood Highway Burwood
Wednesday 12 December 2007
5.30 - 6.30pm
Lecture Theatre 12 - Building X

Peter Quail Oration 29 July 2014, 4-5.30pm

Breaking New Ground in Disability Service Provision: A National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to support all Australians with a Disability as well as their Carers

What will the launch of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) mean for Australia and the Geelong Region? What will it mean for all Australians and carers facing the daily challenges of disability in their life?

Guest speakers
Mr David Bowen CEO
National Disability Insurance Agency
To discuss the three pillars that underpin the NDIS, how the National Disability Strategy fits into Australia’s obligations under the convention and a detailed discussion on why the NDIS is a significant economic as
well as a social reform.

Professor Susan Balandin
Chair in Disability and Inclusion, School of Health and
Social Development, Faculty of Health
Deakin University
To discuss the expertise and objectives of Disability at Deakin, the role of research and the importance of links between universities and communities in meeting the challenges of facilitating meaningful choice for groups of people with a disability

Ms Tina Gulino and Ms Krystyna Croft
(Speakers with the lived experience of disability)
Two Leading, Educating, Advocating for Disability members (LEAD)to speak about the lived experience of engagement with the NDIA- a spokesperson with a disability and a parent or carer of a person with a disability

Tuesday 29 July 2014
Time 4.00 to 5.30 pm
Venue Geelong Clinical School Lecture Theatre (behind Kitchener House) entry
from 285 Ryrie Street, Geelong

RSVP Email - Christopher Loughnan

Video link to Warrnambool: The Oration will be available for live viewing at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus Rm A.3.41
It is planned to film the Oration for viewing on YouTube.

3 Minute Thesis Finals

You are invited to attend the final of the Deakin University 3 Minute Thesis competition.

Research students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic, in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

Drinks and nibbles provided following the event

When: Tuesday 12 August
3.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Lecture Theatre 2
Melbourne Burwood Campus
RSVP Essential: 4 August to Brona O'Brien

Rhiannan and Natalie Given Wings

Rhiannan Frusher, a first year Bachelor of Nursing student at Deakin's Warrnambool Campus, and Natalie Dowling, a first year Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry student at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, have both been awarded the ‘Give Them Wings’ health scholarship for 2014. Both students are members of Deakin's Rural Health Club - NOMAD

‘Give Them Wings’ is a partnership between the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria and Rural Health Workforce Australia. The scholarships are awarded to rural and regional students in their first year of study and are valued at $2500 to put towards university living expenses. Award recipients also gain a Royal Flying Doctor experience.

A big congratulation to Rhiannon and Natalie who were two of the four recipients to receive the scholarship.

For more information on the 'Give Them Wings' scholarship recipients head to the RFDS website

The dangers of BPA

A new Deakin University study has found further evidence of the damaging effects of BPA, the controversial compound used in the manufacture of plastic food and drink containers that is banned in most parts of the world but allowed in Australia.

Deakin University scientists are part of the international research team led by Professor Vincent Laudet at the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon (ENS de Lyon, CNRS, France) that has discovered a new pathway for bisphenol A (BPA) to spread through the body via a protein known as ERRy (estrogen-related receptor), which plays an important role in metabolism. The involvement of ERRy adds weight to the possibility that BPA could be a cause of obesity and diabetes.

‘We know that there are links between BPA exposure and diabetes and obesity but we do not know how it works. With what we have discovered about this new receptor we may well have found the missing link’, said Dr Yann Gibert, a researcher with Deakin’s Metabolic Research Unit.

‘Before now it was believed that BPA only affected estrogen receptors and therefore only had an impact on this hormone function. Now that we have found this new receptor we can expand the targets of further research to developmental effects and metabolism’.

The results of this study, published in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, add to the growing international evidence of the health risks associated with BPA, that include breast cancer, reproductive disorders, brain function and inner ear development.

To read the full article, click on the link below.

Website containing more information on The dangers of BPA

Dead Drunk: Lights Out In the Cross?

If you missed Associate Professor Peter Miller's appearance in the film Dead Drunk: Lights Out In the Cross, don't worry - it is available for viewing on ABC iview until Tuesday 29 April.

The film responds to current concerns about Australia's drinking and party culture and the propensity for young men and women for violence, an area that Peter has conducted much research into.

Filmed on a single Saturday night in Kings Cross, the film provides a snapshot of Kings Cross as the new lockout laws are implemented.

Peter also appeared on Dead Drunk: After Hours with Tom Tilley, ABC2's follow up live chat about the issues raised in the program.

The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few

Wednesday 9 April 12.30-1.30 pm AEST Melbourne

Webinar presented by Associate Professor in Public Health Colin Bell, Deakin University School of Medicine.

In September 2011, UN member states convened for only the second time in history to discuss a health issue. The high-level meeting focused on the global burden of non-communicable diseases. Before the summit in New York, Ban Ki-moon described it as a 'chance to broker an international commitment that puts non-communicable disease high on the development agenda, where they belong'. Countries and UN agencies have already begun responding to the political declaration from the meeting but one of the critical issues is who is the workforce and are they adequately trained?

With insight's into health systems of countries in the Western Pacific from over four years working with the World Health Organization, Associate Professor Bell will give his perspective on building capacity to address NCDs globally and insights into innovations being introduced public health medicine training at Deakin Medical School that will better prepare students for responding to this disease burden.

This webinar is relevant for alumni of Deakin’s School of Medicine and current students plus public health academics and practitioners.

You will need to register to attend this webinar here

Fighting cancer with Zebrafish

Alfred Deakin Research Fellow Dr Clifford Liongue is using the humble zebrafish to help in the fight against the blood cancer, lymphoma.

The zebrafish has been ideal for Dr Liongue who is examining the genetic underpinnings of lymphoma, with the aim of improving treatment, and perhaps getting closer to a cure.

Based in Deakin’s School of Medicine at Waurn Ponds, Dr Liongue is researching the gene BCL6A and its interaction with the gene STAT5. During blood development, and in general immune function, both genes tightly regulate each other. Misregulation upsets the balance between the two genes, leading to human lymphoma – a cancer that begins in immune system cells and spreads throughout the body in lymph fluid.

Lymphoma is the most common form of blood cancer in Australia and the sixth most common form of cancer overall. It has two main types, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin.

Website containing more information on Fighting cancer with Zebrafish

Translating clinical research into practice

Have you ever wondered how a new medicine gets to be approved for use and available to be prescribed? Have you wondered what it's like to be involved in clinical research? Come along to this free seminar to learn from experts about the drug development and clinical trials process and how your participation in clinical trials can contribute to medical research in Australia.

Date and Time:
Smart Geelong Research and Innovation Expo (Research Week), 14 November.

Doors open at 5 pm for a 5.30 pm start.

Lecture Theatre – Teaching, Training and Research Building,
Little Malop Street (entry via Ryrie Street), Geelong VIC 3220

Refreshments will be held afterwards (approximately 7 pm) to encourage discussion about clinical research in Geelong.

All community members are welcome.
We do ask that you RSVP by 4 November to allow
for sufficient refreshments to be provided.
Please RSVP to Dr Olivia Dean:

For further information:
please call the Barwon Health Research Office on 4215 3374

More information about Translating clinical research into practice(48 KB)

Where next for prevention of chronic disease

Deakin University, Department of Health and Department of Human Services Strategic Alliance (Barwon-South West) presents the Peter Quail Oration 2013: Where next for prevention of chronic disease?
Scaling up from community-based obesity prevention
in schools to whole populations.

Dr Steven Allender, Professor of Public Health and Co-Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University, will be the guest speaker at the oration.

The oration will take place on Tuesday 22 October 2013
at the Percy Baxter Lecture Theatre, Deakin University Geelong Waterfront Campus

The oration will be available for live viewing in room B3.03 at the Warrnambool Campus.

RSVP to Christopher Loughnan at

More information about Where next for prevention of chronic disease(304 KB)

Agricultural Health and Medicine enrolments now open

Agricultural Health and Medicine 2014


Scholarships available
Cross - Sector collaboration CAN make a difference to farming communities.

Farm men, women, agricultural workers and their families are slowly gaining an awareness of their health, wellbeing and safety risks. Be a part of the change!

“I was very excited to find a course that could combine my knowledge and skills from nursing and my interests in the agricultural industry, and provide me with a solid post graduate qualification.” Mathew Pigram, 2013 scholarship recipient
Clinical nurse specialist, Alice Springs

The Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Health and Medicine H522 is delivered at a postgraduate level through Deakin University, School of Medicine and aims to address the drought of agricultural health knowledge and improve service delivery and professional understanding for farming communities – your communities.

The core unit of Agricultural Health and Medicine HMF701 will be offered as a five-day intensive in Hamilton, Victoria on February 24th - 28th 2014.

The five-day intensive curriculum will ensure students increase their knowledge about agricultural medicine and co-morbidities, including respiratory health, common cancers and traumatic injuries, issues associated with mental health such as suicide and addiction, as well as external health hazards typical to the industry, such as pesticide and veterinary chemical use. Importantly, students will gain a greater understanding about what is needed for effective health provision in Australia’s agricultural industries.

By studying Agricultural Health and Medicine HMF701 (as a postgraduate course or a single unit) you will become part of the next generation of agricultural and health leaders (nurses, doctors, veterinarians, farmers and agricultural professionals) who understand the value of multidisciplinary collaboration and can make a difference in rural communities. HMF701 is also the prerequisite for eligible health professionals wishing to become AgriSafe™ clinicians.

Scholarships are now available for HMF701 and are aimed to financially assist people who do not have access to financial support from either their workplace or other funding agencies. Applicants must be enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine H522 to be eligible for a scholarship. Scholarship applications close November 24th, 2013.

For further information on how to apply visit

For more information on Agricultural Health and Medicine and scholarships go to or contact Unit Chair, Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby on 03 5551 8533

Allied Health Scholarships

Applications for the allied health component of the 2014 Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS)and will close 15 October 2013.

There are thee scholarship streams:
Postgraduate scholarship
Continuing Professional Development Scholarship
Clinical Psychology Scholarship

For more information on these scholarships, please visit Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health website

More information about Allied Health Scholarships(526 KB)

NOMAD Dinner Discussion Night - Tickets now available

Tickets to NOMAD's dinner discussion night, to be held on 20 September at 6.30pm at Truffleduck, are now available from

NOMAD and DUSA members $25
NOMAD members $30
non-NOMAD members $35

More information about NOMAD Dinner Discussion Night - Tickets now available(235 KB)

Research participants needed for cravings studies

My 4th year thesis students need some help with recruiting more participants, and I’m hoping you might be able to assist. They have all been working very hard on recruitment, but are struggling to get the required numbers and time is running out.

There are three projects, all related to examining the effects on cravings of a range of simple, self-administered techniques.

The research projects and target groups are:
1.Food cravings: participants with a BMI over 30(Burwood).

2.Food cravings: Newish mothers, those who have given birth within the last year(Greater Melbourne).
Nicole and Ruth can do the research at your home if preferred.
Contact: Nicole: 0438 010 459, or Ruth: 0410 534 044

3.Cigarette cravings: participants smoking 10+ cigarettes a day
(Geelong and Burwood).
Contact: Katherine Stanley at with the subject line: Craving Study

How you could help, if willing...

  • to pass this on information to any people you know that might be interested in learning techniques to reduce cravings and happy to be part of the research;

  • in participating yourself, if interested.

If you can help, that would be much appreciated.

Thanks Andrew
Andrew McClelland

School of Psychology
Faculty of Health
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Victoria 3125.
Tel: +61 (3) 9246 8185

Save the date for NOMADs Dinner Discussion Night

Please save the date for NOMAD's Dinner Discussion Night.

The event will take place on Friday 20 September at 6.30pm at the Truffleduck in Fyansford.

More information will be available closer to the date so watch this space.

If you'd like to find out more about NOMAD, please visit their website:

More information about Save the date for NOMADs Dinner Discussion Night(223 KB)

Congratulations to the winners of our 3MT semi-final!

Congratulations Kim Anderson and Alex Head on winning the Faculty of Health 3MT Semi-Final, held on Thursday 27 June. The standard of presentations this year was extremely high and the judges had a difficult decision selecting the winners. Congratulations also to all the Faculty of Health HDR students who participated in the school heats and faculty semi-final.

Kim Anderson is a PhD candidate in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences supervised by Dr Torie Foletta. Her thesis title is “The regulation and function of NDRG2 in skeletal muscle."

Alex Head is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology supervised by Associate Professor Jane McGillivray. Her thesis title is “The Female Profile of Autism."

The Faculty of Health also encourages you to attend the final of the Deakin University 3 Minute Thesis competition to support Kim and Alex, which will take place on Thursday 18 July 2013.

Deakin University 3 Minute thesis competition Final
Drinks and nibbles provided following the event:
Thursday 18th July 2013
3.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Geelong Performing Arts Centre, (Drama Theatre)
50 Little Malop Street
Geelong VIC 3220

RSVP by 11th July 2013 to

Research participants required: Participants for Mother/Child Physical Activity Study!

I am seeking mothers of 12 to 36 month old (1-3 year old) toddlers!

If this is you, I would like to extend an invitation for you to take part in a study that I am currently conducting. To be eligible you must be able to speak/read/write fluent English, be with your child most of the day on at least 4 days/week and your child must be walking independently. Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone else you know who may be interested.

The Mother and Child Physical Activity (MACPAC) study that we are conducting aims to examine mothers and children’s physical activity across different periods of the day and to identify some of the things that influence young children’s physical activity.

Your involvement would be as follows:

Activity monitors:
We will ask you and your child to wear an activity monitor for one week. The activity monitors are small, lightweight devices that are worn around your waist (over or under clothing) and measure movement. We’ve used these monitors on thousands of adults and children as young as 18-months old in our research institute over a number of years.

We will ask you to fill out an online survey that should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. This survey will ask for some background information (age, education, etc.), your thoughts about physical activity and some of the things that you do with your child.

Height & Weight:
Finally, we will measure the height and weight of you and your child. These measurements will be done in private by trained research staff and all measurements will be kept confidential.

All participants will receive a $10 voucher for their time.

For more information about the study, please contact Jill Hnatiuk at or 03 9251 7262.

Solutions to obesity in the community

Come join the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN)for a free seminar on solutions to obesity on the community. A focus on primary care.

This seminar will endeavour to educate you on consumer's attitudes and beliefs for nutrition and physical activity, address how parents support healthy behaviours and lifestyles and challenges and opportunities in obesity prevention and care.

When and where:
Monday 15 July 2013
Venue: Deakin University Melbourne City Centre
Level 3, 550 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Places are limited. Please RSVP by Friday 5 July 2013 to:
Online registration:

More information about Solutions to obesity in the community(220 KB)

NOMAD Rural Health Careers Day

Brought to you by NOMAD (Deakin), WILDFIRE (Monash) & OUTLOOK (Melbourne) Rural Health Clubs.

Are you interested in a career in rural health? Do you want to know what a career in rural health would involve? Are you keen to learn/practice some clinical skills?

Come along to the Rural Health Careers Day to learn about some of the exciting experiences on offer in rural health, learn some new clinical skills and enjoy a 3 course lunch with fantastic guest speakers.

The day includes:
• A rural career information session for nursing and medical students
• An expo of health organisations to answer all of your questions about rural careers
• A 3 course lunch with fantastic guest speakers
• A clinical skills sessions on plastering and suturing with experienced rural GPs
• A certificate of participation will be awarded to all participants.

Venue - Deakin Waterfront Campus, 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong
D2.194 + D2.193
Book now! Tickets only $10.00

Inquiries -

Sponsored by:
MIPS, Avant and MDA National

Website containing more information on NOMAD Rural Health Careers Day

2013 Deakin School of Medicine Oration

Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty will be delivering the 2013 Deakin School of Medicine Oration. The oration will focus on the interface between Killer Pathogens that threaten human lives and the set of Killer T white blood cells that function to maintain our body’s integrity.

6.00pm, Tuesday 13 August 2013,
Geelong Clinical School Lecture Theatre, Ryrie Street, Geelong (Entry via Kitchener House).

The Oration is open to the public and admission is free.

Register online at by Monday 29th July 2013.

More information about 2013 Deakin School of Medicine Oration(1 MB)

Deakin Life! program

Concerned about your health? Unsure about where to start? Do you just need some help?
The Life! program at Deakin University might be just what you need!
You will receive one individual health coaching session followed by five group sessions to help you with the following areas:

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Stress management

  • Sleep and relaxation

To assist you with your journey, you will:

  • receive a complimentary Life! workbook to guide you through these topics and to help you make lasting changes.

  • receive expert health coaching that is run by trained facilitators who are health professionals

  • information on courses running on campus at convenient times and locations

Limited space available!
This is a free program, funded by the Victorian Government and run by Diabetes Australia – Victoria.
For your eligibility, please take the online test. And if you score a point average of 12 or above, please contact Jacinta Sharpe.
Free Diabetes screening also available for Deakin Staff members and students!!! Contact Jacinta Sharpe for more information.

More information about Deakin Life! program(112 KB)

Congratulations Shane Boney

Shane is a local Bourke and Far West New South Wales Medical Local Aboriginal Health Worker. He has been employed in this position for the past five years.

He has always had a passion for primary health and when he had the opportunity to further his studies at Deakin, he quickly got on board!
'The main reason for completing this course was because I see a lot of my people living with Diabetes and the impacts of having it. I feel as though I can help reduce the numbers through education and programs.'

Congratulations Shane Boney on his successful completion on the graduate certificate in Diabetes Education at Deakin University.

Website containing more information on Congratulations Shane Boney

Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Communities

Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Communities:
Scholarships - open til Friday May 24th - Apply now!

Rural professionals (health, policy and agriculture) are the vital link that enable farming communities to achieve better health and sustainability.

Health, safety and well-being have a major impact on the productivity and sustainability of rural and remote communities. To develop your expertise and understanding of the intersectoral relationships in farming communities, the National Centre for Farmer Health through Deakin School of Medicine is delivering an essential online education opportunity to address the social, environmental, health and policy issues faced by agricultural communities in Australia and abroad.

HMF702 Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Communities is the second core unit to be offered by the partnership between the School of Medicine at Deakin University and the National Centre for Farmer Health. This unit looks closely at how living in a rural and remote community impacts on the determinants of health. HMF702 aims to provide each student with the knowledge and skills to positively influence sustainability, the high rates of illness, injury and poor health in their agricultural community.

HMF702 is a core unit in the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine and commences July 15th and runs through to October 11th, 2013 with online lectures and activities taking 3-4 hours per week to complete. The best news is that it’s all online!

Ms Amy Fay, a previous student and Program Development Manager – Natural Resource Management, Dairy Australia, said this about HMF702:
“I am an agricultural professional who works in sustainable agriculture, natural resource management research and policy. Crucial to my work is an understanding of all aspects of sustainability, including social and economic drivers. This unit gave me a solid overview of the health and welfare challenges the farming community faces and how these may impact on broader productivity”.

The learning materials we have developed are unique to higher education in Australia with topics including climate impacts on health, natural disaster recovery, rural lifestyle disease, food security, rural health workforce shortages, small-town and distance health promotion, remote health planning and policy, nutrition and exercise, alcohol consumption and roles of rural health and agricultural professionals.

If you work (or have aspirations to work) in agriculture, public health, health promotion, social work, policy, nursing and/or medicine in rural and remote areas then this unit will appeal to you. The unit is offered at a postgraduate level and is an elective for postgraduate qualifications at Deakin University. It is a core unit of the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine H522.

For further information on HMF702 click here.

We would value your participation in this cutting edge course and urge you to enrol within the next 2-4 weeks to secure a place for you or your staff. If you wish to complete the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine you need to enrol in this course.

A limited number of scholarships are available. Applications close Friday 24th May.

For further information on HMF702 or scholarships, please contact the National Centre for Farmer Health website at or call us on (03) 5551 8533.

Medical maggots make a comeback

Maggots at Deakin's Waurn Ponds campus will be put to work on Bairnsdale ulcer wounds, to eat away dead flesh and improve healing in a pilot study being developed with Barwon Health.

Deakin microbiologist and researcher Dr Melanie Thomson yesterday said maggot use was just one olden-day remedy that could be employed in the apocalyptic age of antibiotic resistance and superbugs.

From the Geelong Advertiser
Geelong Advertiser - Old therapy may heal wounds

Medicine and Optometry Information Evenings 2013

At the Medicine and Optometry information evening, you will learn about the undergraduate courses:

  • Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery

  • and the sequential Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Optometry

Information Evenings at the following campuses and times:

Tuesday 14 May
6 - 8:30pm
Geelong Waurnponds Campus
Room: ia1.006 (Peter Thwaites Lecture Theatre)

Wednesday 15 May
6 - 8:30pm
Melbourne Burwood Campus
Room: I2.02(LT1)

More information about Medicine and Optometry Information Evenings 2013Error: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/medicine-and-optometry-information-evenings-2013.pdf

Annual NOMAD wine tour

Deakin University’s rural health club, Nursing, Occupational Health, Medicine and Allied Health at Deakin (NOMAD), are heading on a tour of wineries on the Bellarine Peninsula with lunch at Terindah Estate.

Special guests, Dr Ashraf Takla and his wife, Annalaise, a local GP and radiographer from Boort in north-west Victoria, have been invited to attend to talk about their careers in a rural township.

The bus will depart at 9am on Saturday 20 April from the Deakin University Waurn Ponds Campus. Tickets are limited and are only available to NOMAD members, so make sure you secure your place. For more information on the tour, please contact NOMAD via their Facebook page

New members are always welcome to join NOMAD – please visit their website to find out how:

New White and Yellow Pages cover Warrnambool

Clinical Associate Professor Sue Brumby has been chosen as the White Pages and Yellow Pages cover for the Warrnambool region for 2013-2014 under the theme Keeping Our Communities Healthy.

Sue is the Director for the National Centre for Farmer Health, a partnership between Deakin University and Western District Health Services. She also oversees Deakin’s Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine, which focuses on building specialist knowledge and skills for those wishing to improve the social, physical and mental health of agricultural communities across Australia.

More information on the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine, including how to apply for the course, can be found at: Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine

NOMAD head to the Northern Territory

Congratulations to Simon Hume and Adrian Luscombe from NOMAD, Deakin University’s rural health club, for being invited to participate in the Top End Rural High School Visits Program 2013.

The program takes place in the Northern Territory, running from Saturday 27 April to Saturday 4 May and aims to promote further education and health career opportunities to high school students via workshops.

NOMAD is Deakin University’s rural health club and is open to students studying in Faculty of Health. More information on NOMAD, including how to join, can be found at

A major drug target for arthritis therapy

Dr McCulloch’s research team at the School of Medicine, Waurn Ponds Campus has discovered a novel role for enzymes that reside outside of the cell during a process required for skeletal muscle development and regeneration called myogenesis. Using knockout mice and gene-silencing technology, Dr McCulloch’s team reduced the expression of an enzyme called ADAMTS5 during myogenesis and found that this enzyme’s activity facilitates muscle pre-cursor cell-cell contact, allowing their subsequent fusion into mature skeletal muscle fibers.

'This is a very important discovery because ADAMTS5 is a major drug target for arthritis therapy with pharmacological inhibitors entering Phase III trials,' Dr McCulloch said. 'It is paramount that we fully understand the effect of inhibiting this enzyme, which has roles other than in a pathological context, especially in arthritis patients where the immobilising nature of the disease leads to muscle wasting'. Dr McCulloch’s research describes the possibility of targeting the enzymatic breakdown of a molecule called versican to improve the process of myogenesis during skeletal muscle development and regeneration. Conditions such as cancer cachexia (muscle wasting in cancer patients), muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia (muscle wasting in the elderly) all have impaired skeletal muscle regenerative processes. Thus identifying ways to improve regeneration could ameliorate these effects in those diseases.

Drs. McCulloch and Stupka, and Prof. Alister Ward, also program leaders at the School of Medicine, won a grant from the Financial Markets Foundation for Children in 2010 to investigate the role of ADAMTS5 and its evolutionary related gene family members during skeletal muscle development and regeneration. In collaboration with Muscular Dystrophy Australia, Melbourne, Dr Stupka and Deakin University’s PhD Student Christopher Kintakas (whose HDR Scholarship is funded by Muscular Dystrophy Australia) shared first authorship alongside a multidisciplinary team of researchers on the original research article recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, January 18th edition. 'This is the first manuscript arising from the grant to be published and several others are in various stages of preparation, submission or under revision,' Dr McCulloch said.

Working in collaboration with both Prof. Ward’s and Dr Gibert’s (Metabolic Research Unit, Waurn Ponds Campus) research programs, Dr McCulloch’s team has expanded its recently published observations to examine the effects of silencing the expression of this gene family during skeletal muscle development in the zebrafish. 'This is an important next step, as it will identify how ADAMTS5 mediates skeletal muscle development in a widely accepted vertebrate model of myogenesis.' The zebrafish is a good developmental model that can be easily manipulated to include drug treatments that have the potential to either enhance or inhibit signalling pathways interacting with enzymes such as ADAMTS5 during important biological processes including skeletal muscle development.

Dr McCulloch’s research article can be viewed at the Pubmed URL:

For further information about Dr McCulloch’s program visit:

Need Wireless?

'Deakin Open Wireless' is being turned off - connect to Eduroam.

The ‘Deakin Open Wireless’ pilot is now complete, and an evaluation of the service will be done for future wireless solutions.

As a Deakin University student or staff member, use your username and password to connect to Deakin's wireless network, Eduroam - a far superior wireless service. Go on, you're worth it!

Easy to use connection videos available here.

PhD Scholarship in Population Health SRC

Optimising Health Literacy to improve public health across Victorian communities

The research project

The project provides opportunities for the advancement of health literacy - the ability to seek, understand and use health information - within an ARC-funded linkage project. This project will take a fresh approach to health literacy to understand vulnerable members of our community and to develop supports and interventions to enable services to reduce health inequalities. Across eight Victorian organisations a new approach to health literacy is being developed that involves consultations with consumers, practitioners and managers, and advances intervention development and implementation.

The research environment

The project is led by Professors Richard Osborne (Deakin) and Rachelle Buchbinder (Monash University), and Dr Alison Beauchamp (Deakin). The candidate will be based academically within the vibrant and innovative research culture of the Public Health Innovation Unit, Population Health Strategic Research Centre, Deakin University. The project team are recognised as international leaders in health literacy and patient education. The team is interdisciplinary, focused on excellence in intervention development and implementation science, and committed to making positive contributions in the community. In partnership with a wide range of stakeholders the team has generated a variety of innovations and tools used both nationally and internationally.

The PhD Scholar

The awardee is expected to use quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies to advance the science of developing and testing new public health interventions at both the individual level and at the service level. Potential research areas for the awardee include the development and use of new approaches to health literacy to inform policy and practice and to improve equity of access, health outcomes and reduce social inequalities in health. A realist synthesis approach may also be considered, based on an extensive program of interviews and data collection across contexts.


  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements and must hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master’s degree in a related field with a substantial research component (or equivalent).

  • Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents.

  • Candidates with clinical (e.g. occupational therapy, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, social work) and other discipline backgrounds (e.g. public health, health promotion, health services research, program evaluation) are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Please read the terms and conditions (131 KB) of the award for more details.
To apply, please submit an online application.


The scholarship stipend rate is $29,844 per annum (2013 rate) for 3 years.

For further information

Please contact Dr Alison Beauchamp Ph. +61 3 92446517,, Professor Richard Osborne, Chair of Public Health, Population Health Strategic Research Centre Ph. +61 3 924 46999, or Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, Director, Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Hospital Ph. +61 3 95094445,

Closing date: 8 May 2013

Newly opened Warrnambool city centre

Called Deakin On Timor, the newly opened site, is based in the historic Regal Cafe building owned by the city council.

Warnambool city centreIt includes spaces for meetings for students and lecturers, a functions room, boardroom and corporate lounge. There is on site staff providing course advice and general information.

The University also provides free wi-fi access for students and staff using the adjacent Civic Green.Warnambool city centre

“Imagine our Deakin students scattered across the Civic Green using their laptops courtesy of the free wi-fi,” head of the Warrnambool campus Professor Greg Wood said.

“It contributes to Warrnambool’s vision of being recognised as a smart city and builds on the city’s cultural and education precinct.

Warnambool city centre“Students and lecturers will be able to strengthen connections with our community partners,” he said.

Deakin last had a CBD presence about 20 years ago.

Although the building will no longer be a public cafe it will have coffee facilities for students. It will be staffed by co-ordinator Anna O’Keeffe, part-time co-ordinator Sarah Evans and community relations manager Geraldine Moloney.

Warnambool city centreSo if you are planning a trip to visit Warrnambool or going there for work, pop into the centre and see what it's all about.

Workplace giving

A new initiative for 2012, Deakin hopes to have at least 350 Deakin staff members giving to our community partners or scholarships or research programs through the Workplace giving program.

Have a look at the video. How many staff members do you know?

Website containing more information on Workplace giving

Smart Geelong Research Awards

Congratulations to the staff from the Faculty of Health, who won research awards or commendations at the recent Smart Geelong network:

Early Researcher Award

Dr Sharon Brennan, Deakin University School of Medicine for “The influence of social and psychosocial factors upon musculoskeletal disease onset, progression and health care utilisation”

Living with a Disability Award

Helen Larkin, Deakin University School of Health and Social Development for “Design for diversity: enhancing interprofessional learning for architecture and occupational therapy students”

Research of the year (highly recommended – Helen came a close second)

Helen Larkin, Deakin University School of Health and Social Development for “Design for diversity: enhancing interprofessional learning for architecture and occupational therapy students”.

What a great effort and it is wonderful that our staff are recognised for their outstanding achievements.

Deakin University's Service Awards

What a fantastic outcome for the 2012 service awards! These awards were presented by our PVC - Health, Brendan Crotty, across the different campuses, in recognition for staff members' years of service and great support to Deakin University.

Awards by area of employment:

PVC's Office - Health
20 years awards

  • Mr John Colley, Administration Officer (Student Advice) within the Health - Student and Academic Services (HSAS) group

  • Associate Professor Bernie Marshall, Associate Dean (teaching and learning)

15 years awards

  • Ms Jane Acopian, Associate Lecturer (Educational Technology)

  • Mr Steve Sawyer, Manager, Collaborative Programs & Research

10 years awards

  • Mr Bill Atasever, Web Team Leader

  • Ms Deanna Errey, Executive Assistant to the Pro Vice-Chancellor

  • Mr Matthew Ebden, Coordinator Barwon and SW REgion Partnerships and Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development

  • Mr Ben Letson, Technical Projects Manager

  • Mr Jamie Mulholland, Technical Officer

School of Health and Social Development
20 years award

  • Dr Jan Garrard, Senior Lecturer

10 years awards

  • Ms Natalie Hakman, Associate Lecturer

  • Dr Elizable Hoban, Senior Lecturer

  • Professor Karen Stagnitti, Personal Chair

  • Ms Rebecca Stockdale, Lecturer

School of Medicine
20 years award

  • Mr Scott Lee, Research Officer

10 years award

  • Professor Alister Ward, Associate Head of School (Research)

School of Exercise and Nutrition
15 years awards

  • Associate Professor Mark Lawrence, Associate Professor

  • Professor Rod Snow, Chair in Exercise Physiology

10 years awards

  • Dr Torie Foletta, Research Fellow

  • Ms Anne Griffiths, Research Officer

  • Mr Brendan Henderson, Technical Officer

  • Dr Anna Timperio, Senior Lecturer

School of Nursing and Midwifery
15 years award

  • Professor Mari Botti, Chair in Nursing

10 years awards

  • Ms Suzanne Coulson, lecturer

  • Professor Maxine Duke, Head of School and Deputy Dean

  • Ms Kerry McNamara, Administrative Officer (PDU)

  • Ms Lauren Mc Tier, Lecturer

School of Psychology
15 years award

  • Professor Martine Powell, Personal Chair

10 years awards

  • Mr Luke Barisic, Lecturer

  • Ms Ann-Marie James, Administrative Assistant

  • Ms Daniele Newton, Casual Research

  • Associate Professor Mark Stokes, Associate Professor

A total of 32 awards for service went to staff members for 2012. This is a great achievement and solidifies the Faculty of Health, as a great place to work within Deakin University.

Federal Funding for Deakin Optometry

Geelong's reputation as a medical research hub is growing with local Deakin University researchers receiving more than $2 million in federal funding. And it could one day help people with persistent eye infections, along with other medical issues.

Dr Holly Chinnery has been looking at the cornea's immune system for the past seven years, working with mouse eyes to research a persistent inflammatory response that keeps recurring even after an infection has cleared. Similar infections can occur when people wear contact lenses or after surgery and can lead to sight issues.

"I'm trying to find out exactly which parts of the bugs or bacterial viruses causes that ongoing inflammation," Dr Chinnery said. The funding is good timing for the new Optometry program at Deakin's School of Medicine, with the first cohort of students being accepted this year. "This is one of the first grants for optometry at Deakin. So it's really quite exciting," Dr Chinnery said.

Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman said the results of the research projects would make a real difference to people's lives. "This investment will ensure that our local researchers continue to expand the frontiers of health and medical research," Mr Cheeseman said. "Health and medical research is an area where Australia shines. "This investment will support our research community to continue making cutting-edge discoveries that improve the diagnosis, treatment and cure of illnesses that touch all Australians."

Read more about Dr Holly Chinnery

$1.9m Student Accommodation build in Colac

Construction is in full swing on a $1.9-million accommodation facility for medical students training in Colac.

Colac Area Health has awarded the tender for the 14-bed home, on the corner of Miller and Forbes streets, to Colac-based Spence Construction, and workers have started laying foundations for the building.

CAH and Deakin University have teamed up for the project which the Australian Government's Health Workforce Australia and Department of Health and Ageing have funded.

CAH chief Geoff Iles said the home would accommodate mainly Deakin student doctors, as well as nurses and allied health professionals while they train at the hospital. "It has a commitment for Deakin medical students but it's also available for other health students on placement," Mr Iles said.
"One of the exciting parts is we are able to have a good partnership with Deakin University and Health Workforce Australia - it shows what a constructive partnership can do and it will be a fantastic facility in the future," he said.
"It's very satisfying and exciting that it's got to the point where we're seeing some construction."
Mr Iles said he expected Spence to finish construction by June next year.

Deakin University's Health Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Brendan Crotty said the student accommodation would strengthen Colac's health workforce in the long-term.

"We are delighted that work on this student accommodation building is commencing," Prof. Crotty said.
"The facility will significantly increase our capacity to teach students at Colac and should eventually lead to strengthening Colac's health workforce."

Rural Doctors Association of Australia Student of the Year

Deakin University student James Roth turned to medicine from mining and is now the Rural Doctors Association of Australia student of the year.

Officials presented the award during a national conference in Fremantle and hailed the fourth year student as highly motivated and inspiring.

Mr Roth, from Orange in regional NSW, has vowed to work towards helping medical professionals develop networks in rural and remote communities.
"I am honoured to have been presented this award because I know just how many great students there are out there who are dedicated to rural health," he said.
"I would like to use this award to help me achieve my goal of developing some resources to help students during their rural placements, as well as new professionals to feel more engaged in the community."

He held Honours in engineering and was working in the mining industry in Parkes, when he resolved to pursue medicine and his passion for caring for people in rural communities.

Read more about James Roth's award in the Geelong Advertiser

Faculty of Health Marketing Reference guide

Not sure of some of the Deakin's style? Or where to find out about templates? Who should you contact for help? You will find helpful information and answers to these questions and more. Please note: You will need an active Deakin staff member log in to view this publication.

Website containing more information on Faculty of Health Marketing Reference guide

Congratulations to staff awarded NHMRC Funding for 2013

Deakin University has won 14 awards from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Deakin was awarded 10 Project Grants, 3 Fellowships and 1 Equipment Grant:
PROJECT GRANTS (10 awards – 2 less than last year )

  • Professor Rob Daly (School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences) won 2 awards

  • Professor David Ashley (School of Medicine)

  • Professor Marita McCabe (School of Psychology)

  • Professor John Toumbourou (School of Psychology)

  • Associate Professor Russell Keast (School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences)

  • Associate Professor Jagat Kanwar (BioDeakin)

  • Associate Professor Trish Livingston (School of Nursing & Midwifery)

  • Associate Professor Aaron Russell (School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences)

  • Dr Holly Chinnery (School of Medicine)

FELLOWSHIPS (3 awards – 2 fewer than last year)

Research Fellowship

  • Professor Kylie Ball (School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences)

Early Career Fellowship

  • Dr Jenny Veitch (School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences)

  • Dr Adrienne O’Neil (School of Medicine)

Further information on NHMRC projects

Happiness and its causes

Now in its 8th amazing year and for the first time in Melbourne, Happiness & Its Causes is the world's leading forum examining the varied causes of a happy and meaningful life. Join special guest His Holiness the Dalai Lama and 35+ amazing speakers in a fascinating exploration of human happiness and wellbeing.

If you're interested in exploring the following questions ...
Why are we here? How can we be happy? How should we live?
... then you'll thoroughly enjoy this extraordinary event!

Hear from the world’s leading speakers in science, education, psychology, economics, spirituality and the arts including:
• His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
• Professor Ed Diener, USA, pioneering psychologist and world’s foremost expert on the science of happiness and life satisfaction
• Dr Helen Fisher, USA, renowned anthropologist and leading expert on romantic love
• Professor Carol Dweck, USA, acclaimed psychologist and researcher in the field of motivation
• Linda Lantieri, USA, pioneering educator and expert in social and emotional learning
• Carl Honoré, UK, leading proponent of the Slow Movement and award winning journalist
• Michael Leunig, much loved cartoonist, philosopher, poet, artist and Australian National Living Treasure
• Clare Bowditch, Aria award winning Melbourne singer and songwriter
• Nigel Westlake, one of Australia’s foremost composers


Book before 21 December and save $200 off the full 2 day conference fee and $340 off the full gold pass fee!

PLUS our members and contacts are eligible for a further 10% discount on all fees.

Book online using promotion code ELBM or call (02) 8719 5118 to register and save up to $490.

Note: In addition to the two day conference, there are 9 workshops on offer which are bookable separately or as part of a gold pass. Your 10% member discount applies to all workshops also.

Website containing more information on Happiness and its causes

Congratulations to Alfred Deakin Professor Michael Berk

"The title of Alfred Deakin Professor is the highest honour that Deakin (via its Council) can bestow upon its academic staff members," said Deakin University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander.

Professor Michael Berk is currently appointed as Alfred Deakin Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Deakin University, where he heads the Strategic Research Centre for Psychiatry and Epidemiology. He also holds honorary Professorial Research Fellowships at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Department of Psychiatry, the Centre for Youth mental Health and Orygen research Centre, at the University of Melbourne. He currently leads the first episode bipolar program at Orygen Youth Health. He is past President of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders and the Australasian Society of Bipolar Disorders.

Read more about Professor Michael Berk

Monday’s medical myth: reading from a screen harms your eyes

The time most of us spend looking at a screen has rapidly increased over the past decade. If we’re not at work on the computer, we’re likely to stay tuned into the online sphere via a smart phone or tablet. Shelves of books are being replaced by a single e-book reader; and television shows and movies are available anywhere, any time.

So what does all this extra screen time mean for our eyes?

Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that like many good eye myths, there is simply no evidence to support this old wives' tale.
With hours on a screen, the muscles of accommodation and convergence can fatigue and give rise to the symptoms we know as eye strain. In my experience, this is one of the most common causes of headache in people who work on screens all day.

Read more and have your say? Follow the link below.

Website containing more information on Monday’s medical myth: reading from a screen harms your eyes

2012 Herman Lawrence Prize

Congratulations to Olivia Perotti, 4th Year medical student and winner of the 2012 Herman Lawrence Prize in Dermatology

Worldly website gets nominated for global 'Site of the Day'

'Awwwards are the awards that recognize and promote the talent and effort of the best developers, designers and web agencies in the world.'

Have a vote for your university and help raise awareness of the efforts of our staff members for creating this site.

Every vote counts. You can register, or vote through your Facebook, Google or Yahoo accounts.

Website containing more information on Worldly website gets nominated for global 'Site of the Day'

Top award for Dr Tania de Koning-Ward

Dr Tania de Koning-Ward, from Deakin University’s Molecular Medicine Research Facility, has received the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, presented the gold medal to Dr de Koning-Ward at a dinner held by the Australian Society for Medical Research in Melbourne in June.

'This is fantastic news and well deserved recognition of Tania's excellent research in this very significant area', said Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Lee Astheimer.

Dr de Koning-Ward said she was surprised to receive the honour, which recognised her research dating back 12 years and her supporting role of graduate and postgraduate students.

In 2009, Dr de Konig-Ward's team made a world-renowned breakthrough by discovering the way in which malaria makes red blood cells 'sticky'.

'The $50 000 that goes with this prize will help the team find out more about the process in the hope of creating a vaccine or drug to fight the disease, which kills 800 000 people a year, most below the age of five', she said.

Website containing more information on Top award for Dr Tania de Koning-Ward

Book launched: Democratizing Health

Professor Evelyne de Leeuw of the School of Medicine, along with Drs Hans Lofgren and Michael Leahy of the School of International and Political Studies have edited a recently published book 'Democratizing Health'. Published by Edward Elgar Publishers, 'Democratizing Health' examines the important role of consumer activism in healthy policy in different national contexts. The book will be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of health policy and sociology, public policy and social movements, as well as those working in health consumer organisations, and interested others.

The official launch of the book in Australia will coincide with the 'Consumers Reforming Health' conference in Melbourne from 18 to 20 July.

For more information about this event, please click on the link below.

Website containing more information on Book launched: Democratizing Health

Opening the gates on farmer health 11–13 October

Staff at the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) were delighted with the success of the Centre’s inaugural conference, held in October in Hamilton. The Centre was swamped by national and international applications from speakers, which translated into a highly successful event.

The NCFH Director, Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby, said the conference committee was really pleased with the support received for the conference. Speakers and delegates travelled from across the country and as far away as the US, UK and Sweden to attend the conference.

The conference took an in-depth look at the health, wellbeing and safety of farming families, with over 60 presenters covering critical areas such as service delivery, mental health, men’s health, climate variability, chronic disease, allied health, diet and disease, the challenges of social interaction (such as alcohol issues in farming communities), farming families, agricultural health and safety and animal health/human health.

Clinical Associate Professor Brumby said speakers at the conference were selected for their capacity to deliver the most relevant and varied messages to conference participants, arming them with knowledge and positive information to take back to their farming communities, research centres and workplaces, to make a difference.

Production agriculture is recognised globally as one of the most hazardous occupations and the conference’s international key speakers reflected this worldwide issue.

Keynote speakers included the University of Iowa’s Professor Kelley Donham, who spoke on agricultural medicine; UK public health nurse consultant Linda Syson-Nibbs, who spoke on the health and social inequalities experienced by farming communities in the UK; and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Peter Lundqvist and Catharina Alwall Svennefelt, who spoke about injury prevention in agriculture from a Swedish research perspective.

The conference also turned to the stage to help get its message across, with a night at the theatre featuring two comedies by Alan Hopgood AM on the evening of Tuesday 12 October.

These highly enjoyable plays use humour to explore the effects diabetes and prostate cancer have on individuals and their families. Sponsored by Diabetes Australia – Vic and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the plays were followed by a forum with medical professionals so that audience members could ask questions and find out more about the conditions.

Opening the Gates on Farmer Health

National Centre for Farmer Health Inaugural Conference
11–13 October 2010
Hamilton, VIC, Australia

The National Centre for Farmer Health invites health professionals and agri-professionals to provide research, policy practice, personal stories and posters reflecting the themes of its inaugural conference – Opening the Gates on Farmer Health.

The National Centre for Farmer Health represents a partnership between Deakin University and Western District Health Service.

This dynamic conference will be informative, innovative and educational. It will raise awareness and develop strategies to overcome the barriers affecting the rural and agricultural health sector. The program, with both international and national speakers, will cover a broad range of rural health issues, research and government policies.

Keynote speakers include: Dr Margaret Alston, Director, Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) Research Unit, Monash University; Dr Neil Barr, Senior Social Researcher, Department of Primary Industries; Professor John Catford, Dean, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, and Professor of Health Development, Deakin University; Professor Kelley Donham, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of IOWA, USA; Professor Marisa Gilles, Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health and Midwest Public Health Physician; Professor John Martin, Director, Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, La Trobe University; Linda Syson-Nibbs, co- founder and trustee of the Farming Life Centre in Derbyshire, UK.

For more information about the conference, registration, and the call for abstracts, please click on the link below.

Website containing more information on Opening the Gates on Farmer Health

Funding for H1N1 research project

Dr Tony Velkov of the School of Medicine was recently awarded $179 500 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for his research project relating to swine flu – The structure and receptor binding properties of the 2009 swine influenza pandemic Hemagglutinin.

A total of 41 research projects will share $7 million in funding as part of the recently announced NHMRC H1N1 fast-tracked research grants, the aim of which is to ensure the Australian Government’s response to H1N1 is based on the most up-to-date information available.

Congratulations to Dr Velkov on this terrific success.

School of Medicine wins teaching and learning award

A School of Medicine group, led by Professor Alister Ward, won the 'Teaching and Learning' award in the Smart Geelong Network Researcher of the Year awards on Saturday 8 August.
The award was for the development of the pre-clinical component of the Deakin medical course curriculum (Years 1 and 2). The members of the group included: Professor Alister Ward; Professor Evelyne de Leeuw; Sharyn Milnes; Dr Karen D'Souza; and Professor Brendan Crotty, Head of School.

School of Nursing and Midwifery staff member awarded one of the recently announced NHMRC H1N1 fast-tracked research projects

School of Nursing and Midwifery staff member Dr Julie Considine is part of the team awarded one of the recently announced NHMRC H1N1 fast-tracked research projects. The aim of these grants is to ensure the Australian Government's response to H1N1 is based on the most up-to-date information available. The aim of the study 'Emergency Department impact and patient profile of H1N1 Influenza 09 outbreak in Australia: A national survey' is to describe the impact and clinical profile of patients presenting to Emergency Departments with flu like illness throughout Australia during the recent H1N1 Influenza outbreak so as to inform future policy, planning and response management.

Faculty teaching staff recognised in Vice-Chancellor's Awards

Congratulations to Berni Murphy from the School of Health and Social Development on receiving not one but three well deserved teaching awards:
* 2009 Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence
* 2009 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching
* 2009 WJC Banks Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning and Deakin University Teacher of the Year.

Other recipients include:
* Dr Diane Phillips - Teaching Excellence
* Dr Lynne Riddell - Teaching Excellence
* Dr Nicky Konstantopoulos - Research Excellence
* Dr Aaron Russell - Research Excellence
* Dr Karen Campbell - Outstanding Contribution to Research: Early Career Researcher
* Professor Joseph Graffam - Outstanding Contribution to 'People, Culture and Change'

Congratulations to the following staff who were awarded citations from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
* Associate Professor Bernie Marshall - Creating conditions that nurture and inspire teaching and learning excellence.
* Dr Greg Tooley, Ms Susie Macfarlane, Associate Professor Alex Mussap - Transformation of the teaching approach in the School of Psychology through redevelopment of content, delivery and student and staff engagement into a model of excellence.

Each Citation recognises recipients' contribution to quality teaching and learning, and commitment to improving the overall student experience. Awardees also receive a grant of $10,000 which may be used to advance their work on teaching and learning. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on 10 August.

Master of Social Work to commence January 2010

The new course Master of Social Work, H703 is now active, commencing 1st January 2010 having received Council approval at the June meeting. The course will be offered OFF campus only to Domestic and International students.

Website containing more information on Master of Social Work to commence January 2010

Open Days

Deakin University Open Days 2009

Sunday 9th August
10am - 3pm
Geelong Campuses

Sunday 16th August
10am - 2pm
Warrnambool Campus

Sunday 23rd August
10am - 4pm
Melbourne Campus at Burwood

Health Career Week

Website containing more information on Health Career Week

2009 medicine information evenings

Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences

The Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences will hold medicine information evenings for students and others wishing to gain more information about entry into the four-year, graduate-entry Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery.

Details for the 2009 medicine information evenings are as follows:

Where: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, ka 3.406
When: Tuesday 5 May, 6 pm
Presenter: Professor Brendan Crotty, Head, School of Medicine

Where: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Lecture Theatre 13 Building HD
When: Wednesday 6 May, 6.30 pm
Presenter: Lyn Golder

Where: Ballarat Base Hospital,Education Resource Centre
When: Wednesday 27 May, 5.30 pm
Presenter: Professor Brendan Crotty, Head, School of Medicine

Congratulations David Crawford

We congratulate Professor David Crawford, Head of the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, on being awarded the title of 'Alfred Deakin Professor'. This prestigious award is in recognition not only of Professor Crawford's many research successes, but also his longstanding commitment and service to Deakin University.

Professor Crawford joined the Faculty in 1995 as a NHMRC Public Health Postdoctoral Fellow and was promoted to a Personal Chair in 2005. Professor Crawford has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to furthering the University's aims in relation to research. Professor Crawford is one of Australia's most respected researchers in the field of behavioural, social and environmental influences on nutrition and physical activity. His work on the epidemiology of obesity and the development and evaluation of obesity prevention strategies for children and adults, is nationally and internationally recognised. He has published more than 150 papers. In the last 12 years he and his collaborators have attracted $8 million in external research funding to support his research program and $1.5 million in fellowships. Professor Crawford is currently the Principal or Chief Investigator in relation to four NH&MRC Grants, one ARC Grant and a grant from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. These grants total $4.52 million.

As well as being a distinguished and successful researcher, Professor Crawford is an accomplished research mentor. He has been awarded a Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education citation for his outstanding contribution to student learning through effective training and mentoring of Higher Degree by Research students in nutrition and physical activity. Professor Crawford holds a Personal Chair at Deakin and he is a Visiting Professor at the EMGO (Public Health) Institute in the Netherlands. He is also the Head of Deakin's School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. Professor Crawford has supervised 13 post-doctoral fellows and 14 PhD students. He is nationally and internationally recognised as a Member of the National Heart Foundations Panel of Experts, the Murdoch Children's Research Institute Performance Evaluation Committee, and the NH&MRC Grant Review Panel (Public Health). He is Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity and a reviewer for many leading journals in his field.

Professor Crawford is currently Deputy Chair of the Research and Research Training Committee of the Academic Board.

Short course in leadership and organisational change

Deakin University, in association with MLQ International, is offering a non-award online course entitled:

‘Leadership and Organisational Change: Multiple-level Assessment, Coaching, and Development’

The course is equivalent to five learning days delivered over a six-week period.

The course comprises four modules delivered through Deakin’s state-of-the-art online environment for distance education. Features include a range of learning and practice modalities, including:

Moderated eLive discussion sessions and case study reviews.

Personal report assessment feedback and actual facilitation practice.

Audio group review discussions and exploration of practice issues.

Concise training in the Full Range Leadership Model (Bass and Avolio) and six associated multi-level assessments.

Access to extensive reference and practice resource materials.

Progressive assessment and delegate feedback during each module.

The four modules covered in the course are:

1. Understanding Leadership: developing and implementing organisation-wide change.
2. Leadership assessment of individuals and best feedback practice to establish objective evidence-based developmental goals and plans with buy-in.
3. The assessment of ‘shared leadership in groups’ and ‘leadership culture in organisations’ related to outcome performance, coaching and development.
4. The practice of executive coaching: an evaluation framework and case study.

Course dates are as follows:
Enrolment from Monday 9 March
1st round commencement
Module 1: 23 March
Module 2: 16 April
Module 3: 4 May
Module 4: 11 May

To register your interest online, visit:

For further information, contact:

Dr Josephine Palermo
Deakin University

More information about Short course in leadership and organisational changeError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/short-course-in-leadership-and-organisational-change3.pdf

Second cohort of Deakin Medical students soon to start!

The Deakin Medical School will soon welcome its second cohort of medical students at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds. The 2009 intake of 128 domestic and five international first year students will join the 120 students who commenced last year as the first students in Deakin’s new Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery.

The four-year, graduate-entry Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery has a strong sciences foundation and an emphasis on early development of clinical, communication and procedural skills; diagnosis and management of chronic diseases; inter-professional learning; and teamwork.

Medical students will spend the first two years of their course at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds and in clinical settings around Geelong. Their final two years will involve clinical training at one of four clinical schools: Greater Geelong Clinical School (centred on Geelong), Greater Green Triangle Clinical School (centred on Warrnambool), Grampians Clinical School (centred on Ballarat), and the Eastern Health Clinical School (centred on Box Hill).

Students will benefit from extensive exposure to general practice, and rotations through a series of hospital and ambulatory care placements in all major medical specialties.

For more information about the Deakin University School of Medicine, visit:

School of Medicine curriculum conference

The School of Medicine is conducting a curriculum conference to develop the Years 3 and 4 teaching program on 31 January. The conference will be attended by senior clinicians working in Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Box Hill and a number of smaller centres in Western Victoria. These doctors will all be heavily involved in delivery of the curriculum for 2010.

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health is a new university research, service delivery and education centre that will provide national leadership to improve the health and wellbeing of farmers, farm workers and their families across Australia.

The Centre operates in partnership with Western District Health Service and Deakin University and is based in Hamilton, western Victoria.

Building on an industry-service-government partnership developed through the Sustainable Farm Families program, the Centre will focus on strengthening the human and rural service workforce to address prevention and early identification of diseases and accompanying risk factors that are associated with farming, and to develop timely, appropriate and effective interventions.

The Centre will generate a critical mass of researchers, educators, clinicians and other health workers who will be able to build national and international expertise in agricultural health.

The five core activities of the National Centre for Farmer Health are:
1. Professional training and education
2. Applied research and development
3. Best Practice Clearing House
4. AgriSafe programs
5. Sustainable Farm Families – dissemination of research results

The National Centre for Farmer Health is funded through the Department of Human Services and the Helen and Geoff Handbury Trust.

Ms Susan Brumby
Director National Centre for Farmer Health
PO Box 283
VIC 3300
Tel + 61 3 5551 8460
Fax + 61 3 5572 5371

Medical School Officially Opened

The Deakin Medical School was officially opened on 1 May 2008 by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Kevin Rudd.

Website containing more information on Medical School Officially Opened

Welcome to Country Day for Deakin Medical students

"Medical students and staff were welcomed to Wathaurong country by Lyn McInnes, the Barwon Health Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer, and Reg Abrahams, the Wathaurong Cultural Officer. The ceremony took place, most symbolically, in the space between the new Medical School building and the Institute of Koorie Education, IKE. The Faculty and Medical School are strongly committed to Indigenous Health and are working in partnership with IKE to recruit substantial numbers of Indigenous students. Support arrangements are in place for such students: contact IKE's director, professor Wendy Brabham, for further information. "

More information about Welcome to Country Day for Deakin Medical studentsError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/welcome-to-culture-day-for-deakin-medical-students1.jpg

Class begins for first Deakin Medical School students

The 120 new students were given an orientation to the medical course and the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds—where they will spend the first two years of the program—before classes start on Monday 11 February.

The Head of the School of Medicine, Professor Brendan Crotty, said he was delighted to welcome the first cohort of students to the University.

“This is a very exciting and historic time for the Deakin Medical School,” Professor Crotty said. “A lot of hard work has taken place over the past two years to get to this point of opening the doors to our first medical students.

“We are very proud of the excellent medical education facilities we have built here at Waurn Ponds. The students will commence their studies in one of the most advanced teaching facilities in the country.

“When these students graduate in 2011, they will be well trained to enter general practice and specialist training programs and begin to redress the acute medical shortages in rural and regional areas.”

Deakin University’s School of Medicine is Victoria's first rural and regional medical school and aims to train a cohort of new doctors who are skilled and motivated to pursue a career in rural and regional areas, either as specialists or general practitioners. The course will give special attention to preventing and managing chronic diseases, working in teams, and developing procedural skills which are so important in areas away from the main hospital centres.

The School has enrolled 120 students in 2008 and will build up to 180 students per year from 2013.

Deakin Medical School students will spend the first two years of the program studying in a purpose-built, state of the art building on Deakin's Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds. The last two years of the course will be completed in a range of hospitals, general practices and healthcare facilities attached to Deakin’s Clinical Schools in Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat and Box Hill.

School of Medicine update

The School of Medicine staff moved into their new facilities in late December, 2007 and have been working tirelessly to ensure the program offered to the new students is exceptional.

The first intake of 120 Deakin medical students attended an orientation program that commenced on 7 February, including a Faculty reception on 8 February where the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Walker, welcomed the students and their families and presented scholarships to the recipients.

The academic program of the graduate-entry program Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery will be conducted for 37 weeks in year one, 39 weeks in year two, 43 weeks in year three and 40 weeks in year four (comprising contact hours and exams).

The first two years of the course are based at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds. The third and fourth years are based in clinical schools set in the Greater Green Triangle (centred on Warrnambool); the Grampians Clinical School (centred on Ballarat); the Greater Geelong Clinical School (centred on Geelong) and Eastern Health.

Classes commenced on Monday 11 February.

Please click link below to find an image of our medical students

More information about School of Medicine updateError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/school-of-medicine-update.jpg

Health Information Evenings 2008

Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Thursday 8 May, 6.15pm, Lecture Theatre 12, Building X

Health Sciences and Public Health and Health Promotion
Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Thursday 15 May, 6.00pm, Lecture Theatre 12, Building X

Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Thursday 8 May, 7.30pm, Lecture Theatre 12, Building X

Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Thursday 22 May, 6.00pm, Lecture Theatre 12, Building X

Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Wednesday 21 May, 6.00pm, Building ka3.406

Warrnambool Campus, Tuesday 20 May, 5.30pm, Building J2.01

Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Wednesday 30 July, 6.00pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Building I

Warrnambool Campus, Friday 18 July, 7.30pm, J2.01

Geelong Waterfront Campus, Thursday 10 July, 6.00pm,
Percy Baxter Theatre

Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Wednesday 7 May, 6.00pm, Lecture Theatre 13, Building HE

Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds
Tuesday 6 May, 6.30 - 7.30pm
Lecture Theatre 1

Ballarat Base Hospital, Drummond Street, Ballarat
Thursday 8 May, 6.00 - 8.30pm,
Ballarat Hospital Education and Resource Centre

More course information on each of these areas will be available at university Open Days
Geelong Campuses, 10 August 2008

Warrnambool Campuses, 17 August 2008

Melbourne Campus at Burwood, 24 August 2008

For more information please contact:
Deakin University, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences
Faculty Student Centre
Phone: 03 9251 7777
Or visit

Attention students and supervisors involved in Honours, Masters by Coursework and Graduate Diplomas who are conducting human research projects

Attention students and supervisors involved in Honours, Masters by Coursework and Graduate Diplomas who are conducting human research projects
you are required to submit your DUHREC ethics final report / annual report / extension to the DUHREC HMNBS Subcommittee.

The direct web link to the form is:

Final/annual/extension DUHREC ethics report forms are due by November 20 2007. Early submissions would be appreciated.

Please complete the report and forward to:

Steven Sawyer
Manager, Collaborative Programs & Research
Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, 3125

The e-bulletin of the Deakin Medical School

More information about The e-bulletin of the Deakin Medical SchoolError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/the-e-bulletin-of-the-deakin-medical-school1.pdf

GAMSAT Online Registration now open for 2009 Entry into Deakin Medicine

Website containing more information on GAMSAT Online Registration now open for 2009 Entry into Deakin Medicine
More information about GAMSAT Online Registration now open for 2009 Entry into Deakin MedicineError: File does not exist /var/www/html/health/news/documents/gamsat-online-registration-now-open-for-2009-graduate-entry-medicine-at-deakin.pdf

Deakin University Rural and Regional Medical School

On 8 April 2006 the Australian Government announced that Victoria will get its first rural and regional Medical School at Deakin University. The medical school will offer a graduate entry program for mature-aged students with strong links to regional and rural Australia and will be located on the Geelong campus at Waurn Ponds.
The campaign to establish a Medical School commenced more that two years ago led by the Dean of Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Professor John Catford.
Professor Catford has been working closely with all health services and medical groups across Western Victoria to ensure the proposal would be responsive to regional priorities. The recent strategic alliance with the University of Ballarat has also given additional strength to the exercise ensuring that Victoria’s two leading rural and regional universities are working together to improve leadership in health care.
For up to date information on Deakin Medicine please visit the Medical

View Current Items

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

3rd September 2008